Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Nigerian Customs generates N790.6bn at Apapa Command

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The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Apapa Area Command, has generated N790.6 billion between January and September 2022.

Comptroller, Malanta Yusuf, the command’s Area Controller, said this at a news conference on Thursday in Lagos.

According to Mr Yusuf, this shows an exponential improvement of N181.5 billion when compared with N609 billion collected in the corresponding period of 2021, representing 29.8 per cent increment.

“This remarkable achievement was made possible because of our officers’ tireless commitment to ensure that all revenue leakages are being mitigated.

“This is as well as sustaining the level of compliance by the importers/stakeholders in the clearance value chain,” he said.

On anti-smuggling, Yusuf noted that anti-smuggling activities had been one of the command’s focal points, especially with the activities of some unrepentant traders who are always looking for avenues to undermine our system.

He said that the command had fortified its forensic manifest management to monitor and detect fraudulent transaction through audit trial to ensure that illicit trade are being tracked before the declarations are lodged.

“Furthermore, the enforcement unit has been reinforced through improved collaboration and sharing of credible intelligence with relevant government agencies to suppress smuggling activities to its barest minimum.

“For the period under review, the command recorded 145 seizures of various items with a duty paid value (DPV) of N12,496,672,122.

“The seized items include unregistered medicaments such as tramadol and codeine, processed/unprocessed wood, used clothing, ladies men’s footwear, foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste, vegetable oil and other sundry items that falls under import/export prohibition list,” he said.

Mr Yusuf said that these importations were in clear breach of sections 46 and 47 of Customs and Excise Management Act, CEMA CAP C45 LFN 2004.

“Let me reemphasise that Apapa Command is continuously ready to assist in facilitating legitimate trade.

“The command will ensure that all forms of smuggling activities through false declaration on import/export done in defiance to extant trade guidelines will be detected through its layers of control mechanism,” he said.

He said that the command had made tremendous increase as regards export in terms of tonnage and value.

Mr Yusuf said that it recorded about N181 billion value of export and 160 million tonnes of various items of export.

He urged stakeholders to collaborate with the command and ensure that items on the import/export prohibition list are strictly adhered to, and embrace the emerging realities of customs examination through non-intrusive inspection (NII) regime.

“The non-intrusive inspection regime is geared toward increasing volume of cargo inspection, protection of national security, saving cost/clearing time, storing reliable data and images for reference purposes.

“It helps in reducing human contact in the examination of containerised cargo,” he said.

On the installed scanners, he said that the command had resolved the issue of how many containers shipping companies would bring per day having requested for at least 150 containers but shipping companies agreed on 100 containers.

“For the suspect one, we promised to do recheck of 30 containers per day and it was accepted and subject to improvement as the system is being fine-tuned.

“Initially, we were having a downtime of about 30 minutes gap for bringing containers to scanning area and back to the stacking area but now we have 15 minutes downtime.

“For the backlog, we work Saturday and Sunday to clear it before next week starts,” he said.

Mr Yusuf appreciated the government agencies in the port for collaboration and synergy.

He also commended officers and men of Apapa Command for their determined resilience, and their compliant stakeholders for support.

NAN

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