By Shola Fadeyi & Emmanuel Ajiboye
Revenue generated by the Apapa Customs of the Nigerian Customs Service(NCS) between January and March ,2022 rose by 65.7.per cent, when compared with the amount it collected from all its activities in the corresponding period of 2021. .
The Command generated a revenue of N264.5 billion in the first quarter of 2022, as against the sum of N159 billion it collected in the same period of 2021, showing an increase of N104 billion.
The Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta attributed the feat to the commitment and creativity of the officers through their leveraging on the Customs IT platform, to check revenue leakages , as well as the sustenance of compliance level, by the importers and stakeholders in the clearance value chain.
He said the command also recorded 46 seizures of various items with a duty paid value of N1.142 billion as against 28 seizures made in the corresponding period of 2021.
These seizures,according to him,include unregistered medicaments such as tramadol and codeine syrup, unprocessed wood, used clothing, footwear, foreign parboiled rice and other sundry items which falls under prohibition list ,adding that the importations are in clear contravention of sections 46 and 47 of Customs and Excise Management Act, CEMA CAP C45 LFN 2004.
The Controller stated that anti-smuggling activities have been a matter of central concern in the Command, particularly with the activities of recalcitrant traders who are always looking for ways to undermine the system.
He pointed out that the enforcement unit has been strengthened through strict monitoring, enhanced collaboration and sharing of credible intelligence with relevant government agencies to suppress smuggling activities to its barest minimum.
The Controller disclosed that the Apapa Command is always ready to assist in facilitating legitimate trade and ensuring that all forms of smuggling activities through false declaration on import/export done in defiance to extant trade guidelines will be detected through the Command’s layers of control mechanism.
Malanta said in line with the Federal government efforts to diversify the economy through non-oil export, the Command recorded exportation of agricultural goods, mineral resources, steel during the period adding that N34.072 with Free On Board (FOB) value of $87.992,356.10 million were exported as against N30.2 billion, which is equivalent to FOB value of $82.1 million US dollars between the months of Jan-Mar 2021.
He appealed to stakeholders to join forces with the Command and ensure that items that are on the import/export prohibition list are strictly adhered to, and also urged them to prepare themselves for the emerging realities of customs examination through non intrusive inspection (NII) regime.
The Controller stated that the non-intrusive inspection regime is targeted at increasing volume of cargo inspection, saving cost/clearing time, storing reliable data and images for reference purposes and reducing human contact in the examination of containerized cargoes leading to delay in the clearance time.
He stated that the achievements recorded by the command has earned it remarkable letters of commendation by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim All (Rtd) and his entire management team, adding that the encouragement has strengthened the Command’s drive to sustain the tempo and up the ante in discharging our responsibilities.
Malanta expressed the Command’s appreciation to the CGC and his Management team, for their unwavering support, government agencies in the port, for collaboration and synergy, Officers and men of Apapa Command for their tireless commitment and stakeholders and the media for their backing.