CUSTOMS IN SOKOTO RAKES IN N248M WITHIN 6 MONTHS

By NBF News
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The Sokoto State Department of Customs and Excise recorded a total revenue of N248 million between January and June this year as against its target of about N180 million for the period in review.

Disclosing this in an exclusive interview with Daily Sun yesterday, the state Comptroller of Customs, Alhaji Atiku Mustapha stated that the command made the revenue mostly from importation of vehicles.

Alhaji Mustapha who took over the mantle of leadership at the command in June this year attributed the increased revenue generation to the enlightenment campaign embarked upon by his department through print and electronic media on the need for motor dealers in the area to always formalise their documents with the department rather than taking their vehicles through illegal routes.

He said the campaign had yielded fruitful results as most vehicle dealers in the area now patronise the command thereby boosting the revenue generation efforts of his men.

The comptroller added that the patronage increased tremendously in recent times because it was becoming increasingly difficult for the smugglers to take their vehicles through bush paths because of the rainy season which has rendered such routes unmotorable.

Besides, the customs boss said the rehabilitation exercise going on at the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) which required the importation of some spare parts also helped to boost the command's revenue base.

On the problem facing Customs in Sokoto, Alhaji Mustapha stated that its department needed more residential accommodation for its staff lamenting that recently one of the few residential buildings available got burnt at Kamba while another was in bad shape in Dole Kaina, Kebbi State.

He remarked that he had already discussed the issue of accommodation problem facing the department with the zonal coordinator in the area who promised to address the issue in no distant future.

Another problem militating against the smooth running of the department, according to the comptroller, was shortage of operational vehicles. He said the command needed no fewer than 50 patrol vehicles to effectively man the porous border areas as against the 18 vehicles now available.

While commending the governors of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara for their assistance to the command, the comptroller specially thanked the government of Zamfara State for donating 16 motorcycles to the department few months ago.

Alhaji Mustapha expressed appreciation over what he described as the leadership style of the present comptroller general of the Nigerian Customs and Excise, saying the morale of customs officers had now been greatly improved as a result of the effective leadership given to the command by the comptroller general.

To buttress his claim, the comptroller said in his thirty-one year of service with custom and excise he has never had any opportunity to be sent outside the country for training but according to him it was during the tenure of the present comptroller general that officers were given opportunity to go to overseas countries for training as a way of making them to be more productive.