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Customs generates N115bn from Lagos Free Trade Zone in 6 months

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The Lagos Free Trade Zone of the Nigeria Customs Service says it generated N115 billion in revenue over the past six months.

Its Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Olanrewaju Olumoh, disclosed this at a stakeholder engagement in the Free Trade Zone in Lagos on Thursday.

Olumoh expressed optimism that the command would meet and surpass its annual target by the end of the year.

He said, “The fallout from these visits necessitated the meeting today where we shall reveal our achievements so far and discuss matters that will improve operations in the Free Trade Zones under the Command.

“The initial revenue target given to the Free Trade Zone was N108.84 billion before it was reviewed to N136.05 billion for 2024.

“From January 2024 till date, the command has generated N41.3 billion from the Free Trade Zone, compared to N24.7 billion collected during the same period in 2023.

This shows an increase of N16.6 billion, representing a 67per centt rise over 2023.”

For Lekki Port, an initial revenue target of N6.61 billion was reviewed to N8.26 billion. From January to date, N74.67 billion was generated as revenue from the port.

Olumoh explained the fundamental benefits of establishing Free Trade Zones to include attracting foreign investments, promoting technology transfer, and creating job opportunities.

He stressed the importance of stakeholder collaboration in achieving these goals.

“It is important to keep sensitising agents and zone operators on the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Free Zones to enhance their compliance level and improve their capacity towards better service delivery,” Olumoh noted.

He emphasised that stakeholder engagement is about building relationships based on trust, transparency, and mutual understanding.

“We want to operate an open-door policy where we can entertain meaningful contributions to move the Command forward,” he said.

Olumoh commended the Zone management and other agencies, including the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Immigration and the Nigeria Police Force, for their continuous support in achieving these results.

He also recognised the critical role of the media in public sensitisation and enlightenment about Free Zones.

Mrs Oladunni Kareem, General Manager of Operations at Lekki Free Trade Zone, commended the NCS for the interactive session.

She emphasised the need for operators to be aware of customs procedures to reduce the time of doing business.

“We want trade facilitation and the Nigeria Customs Service is doing all it can towards that. Revenue collection for the government cannot be overemphasised; we have to operate side by side,” Kareem said.

She assured of continued collaboration with NCS to improve Nigeria’s trade environment.

Kareem noted that trade facilitation would encourage investors and help introduce the free trade zone to other investors, thereby creating more jobs for the youth. (NAN)

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