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Customs Generates N1.02trn From Apapa Port In 6 Months

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The Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Monday, announced a total revenue collection of N1.02 trillion from the command between January to June, 2024.

Speaking during the half-year media briefing in Lagos, the Customs Area Controller, Apapa Port, Compt. Babatunde Olomu, said the collection rose by 143 per cent compared to N421.38 billion collected in 2023.

The Customs attributed the revenue increase to the command's improved trade facilitation, revenue recovery and anti-smuggling strategies since he assumed office on May 6, 2024.

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This collection is coming despite a sharp reduction in the volume of trade, it is necessary to note that extra measures have been put in place to prevent losses of government revenue.Upon taking over as Area Controller of Apapa, I set up a revenue recovery committee comprising seasoned and dedicated officers with a mandate to carry out more detailed look into areas of leakages, especially in bonded terminals under Apapa Command.”

“Within the period under review, the command said it seized 11 containers containing prohibited items such as expired and unregistered pharmaceuticals, foot-wears, used clothing, armoured cables and frozen poultry products, among others, with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N424,105,975.00, Olomu disclosed.

Giving the seizure for the corresponding period of 2023 as 42, with a DPV of N1.4 billion, the comptroller added that “just last week, we uncovered a large quantity of expired and unregistered pharmaceuticals in 3x40ft container numbers.”

He gave the containers as TCKU 6928184, MRKU 4422733, MRSU 5550243, and another 3x40ft container nos. MNBU 3934925, MEDU 9107559 and MEDU 9752980.

They were loaded with 7,580 cartons of frozen poultry products unfit for human consumption, which is against schedule 3 of the revised import prohibition list of the Common External Tariff (CET) and violate section 233 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, he stated.

The command's strides in trade facilitation, Olomu said, included “applying a blend of intelligence with community relations for better awareness of our operating environment to achieve greater trade facilitation and fight criminality.”

He noted that this became more workable through the command's team of dedicated officers charged with the responsibility of addressing all complaints or disputes within record time before escalation to his office for prompt action.

Olomu added that his office is open for everyone to discuss anything that will facilitate legitimate trade and promote government interest at all times, including receiving information on suspected smuggling activities.”

 

Noting that his leadership uses “robust intelligence gathering for enhanced revenue collection, backed with deliberately improved customs-community relations,” he said the efforts of the officers at promoting trade facilitation were “yielding good results with attendant ease of doing business, prevention of revenue losses, and closer interactions with sister-government agencies and private sector stakeholders.

 

“We are also not leaving anything to chance for economic saboteurs as our non-intrusive inspection (NII) regime is fully in place, where scanners are deployed for cargo examination with support of physical examination where and when necessary.

 

Concerned about the implication of the smuggled items, Olomu warned that “the harmful effects of fake and unregistered pharmaceutical products on citizens are unquantifiable and as a responsible service, we owe Nigerians the duty of preventing them from being exposed to this dangerous importation.”

 

Therefore, he warned “perpetrators of smuggling, duty evasion and other forms of criminality frowned upon by the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 and other extant laws that Apapa Command is poised to nip illicit importation in the bud.

 

“Consequently, in line with the CGC zero tolerance for smuggling, I have reformed the command's way of treating transires by ensuring more meticulous management of cargoes moving from the mother port to bonded terminals. This has become necessary to prevent a situation where smugglers attempt to perpetuate illegalities in bonded terminals.

 

“To sustain this tempo, no cargo is allowed to exit our control without thorough inspection using the scanner. We shall not compromise on this, as we will keep making seizures, detention and arrests where necessary to protect the national economy and prevent Nigerians from exposure to dangerous or unwholesome products like illicit drugs.”

 

He commended such sister-agencies like the Nigeria Police, Department of State Service (DSS), NDLEA, NAFDAC, SON, NIS, NAQS, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and others working with the NCS like a team with shared responsibilities and support.

 

 

 


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