Customs Lagos Industrial Area generates N518.6m

Winifred Okon, the Controller of Lagos Industrial Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service in Festac Town, Lagos, has said that the command recorded N518.6 million revenue in August.

Okon told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the amount was far lower than the N1.3 billion recorded in July.

She said that the command was, however, making efforts to improve on its revenue drive.

The controller said that several products had been removed from the Excise List of the Customs by the Federal Government as a strategy to encourage local manufacturers.

Okon said that excise duty collections were limited to beer, stout and spirits. “Excise duty has been limited to just spirits, beer, stout and tobacco. Tobacco is not here in Lagos, so we only have beer, stout and small-scale businesses that produce spirits,’’ the controller said.

He noted that the de-excising the products was done through gradual process.

The controller said that the unit was not necessarily looking at revenue targets as it was using trade facilitation strategy to improve its revenue.

“We now encourage these indigenous entrepreneurs through our forum. We encourage them to register with appropriate government agencies to enable them operate without fear. It is yielding results because when their businesses succeed they are able to pay their duties without trouble and that is a plus for our revenue drive,’’ the controller said.

She said the command’s interactive sessions with business owners revealed the challenges the business owners were facing, adding that it was only reasonable to encourage them.

“We found out that lately, the production level was low and the business owners ascribed it to challenges of getting ethanol, a major raw material they use. We cared to know because it is when the businesses operate that we can talk of revenue collection, ‘’ she said.

She said the command still carried out intensive monitoring to ensure that government obtained revenue from businesses on the excise list under the command.

Okon said that 16 excise traders were registered under the command, adding that offi cials of the command were still scouting for those hiding to brew.

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