Lilypond Customs Command Boosts Nigerian Economy With Over $236m Export Proceeds In Q1

By Sylvanus OBASI, Lagos

Despite Nigeria’s numerous economic challenges and and woes in 2024 which was occasioned by unstable exchange rate, the Lilypond Export Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has reported outstanding performance in the first quarter of 2024 through concerted efforts and strategic measures, the Command said it has facilitated the export of various commodities, showcasing a remarkable surge in trade activity.

According to a press statement made available to PLATFORM REPORTERS, in Q1 2024, the Command said it processed a total of 5,891 (20ft and 40ft) containers valued at $236,087,888.53. These comprise of diverse commodities such as agricultural produce, manufactured goods, solid and extractive minerals, among others.

The Customs Area Controller of Lilypond Export Command, Compt Ajibola Odunsanya gave the breakdown of export activities at the command as follows:

Agricultural Produce: A total of 4,229 (20ft and 40ft) containers were filled with agricultural produce, generating earnings amounting to USD$153,426,308.00. Notably, the Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) received a payment of ₦916,492,465.00 underscoring the robust contribution of agricultural exports to the national economy.

Manufactured Goods: With 629 (20ft and 40ft) containers dispatched, manufactured goods contributed significantly to export revenue, totaling USD$22,289,340.77. The NESS payment to the FGN amounted to ₦112,905,501 reflecting the sector’s resilience and competitiveness in the global market.

Solid and Extractive Minerals: The export of solid and extractive minerals witnessed a notable upsurge, with 753 (20ft and 40ft) containers dispatched, valued at USD$34,107,959.01. The NESS payment of ₦224,162,113.74 highlights the immense potential of Nigeria’s mineral resources on the international stage.

Other Goods: Additionally, various goods such as plants & machinery, and personal effects were exported in 280 (20ft and 40ft) containers, contributing USD$26,264,280.07 to export revenue. A NESS payment of ₦135,771,439.38 was made, emphasizing the diversified nature of Nigeria’s export portfolio.

COMPARISON WITH Q1 2023: A comparative analysis reveals a substantial growth trajectory in Q1 2024 compared to the corresponding period in 2023. Total containers processed in 2024 Q1 surged by 44% to reach 5,891(20ft and 40ft) containers as against 3,784 (20ft and 40ft) containers processed in 2023 Q1, signifying heightened trade activity at the Command. Export commodities’ value also surged by 42% to USD$236,087,888.00 as against $154,459,566.39 recorded in 2023 Q1, underlining the sustained momentum in export performance.

NESS payment witnessed an impressive 114% increase, reaching ₦1,389,331,520.15 from ₦378,268,430.57 received in 2023 Q1, indicative of enhanced revenue generation and compliance. Surcharge payment for plants & machinery, and imported goods doubled from NGN 8,785,188.00 in 2023 Q1 to NGN 18,218,964.00 in 2024 Q1 representing a 70% difference, aligning with fiscal policy directives.

STAKEHOLDERS ENGAGEMENT: In the area of stakeholder’s engagement, the Command has maintained its open-door policy and resolved a lot of issues of common interest with concerned stakeholders. The Lilypond Export Command, as the lead agency in the drive for export trade facilitation has consistently collaborated with all relevant agencies such as the NPA, NAFDAC, NDLEA, QUARANTINE, DSS, NPF, Department of Forestry and the Federal Produce Inspection Service. Exporters and their agents have continuously appraised the concept of joint examinations and how it helps reduce cargo clearance time.

Speaking further, Compt Ajibola thanked critical Stakeholders such as the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigeria Shippers Council, various Maritime associations and the Media for their collaborative efforts and synergy while carrying out his statutory mandate, saying that the Command will continue to leverage on their contributions and co-operations to ensure efficient service delivery to the nation.

In conclusion, the CAC said, “The Lilypond Export Command extends its profound appreciation to all stakeholders and partners for their unwavering support and collaboration. Under the visionary leadership of Comptroller General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, we remain committed to fostering consolidation, collaboration, and innovation to ensure seamless trade facilitation. As we advance into the future, the Nigeria Customs Service reaffirms its dedication to promoting effective trade practices and economic prosperity.

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