The Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS has kept the tempo of Improved revenue collection by crossing the N1 Trillion mark in the face of declined trade volume, promoting trade facilitation and sustained its anti-smuggling activities to protect the nation’s economy.
In 2023, the command lived up to its mandate by ensuring enabling trading environment for importers, exporters, shipping companies, terminal operators, bonded warehouse owners and others whose business go through customs control.
The command recorded remarkable feat in the areas of revenue collection and trade facilitation in the outgone year by collecting a total of one trillion, one hundred and seventy two billion, four hundred and fourteen million, seven hundred and ninety three thousand, nine hundred and sixty naira and thirty two Kobo (N1,172,414,793,960.32.).
The amount is over N149.8 billion above the revenue collection of N1,022,530,523,699.40 in 2022.
The Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba said that the 2023 collection was 14.6 percent higher than the 2022 figure of N1,022,530,523,699.40.
Under Comptroller Jaiyeoba’s watch, the command made N11.3 billion daily collection on November 22, 2023 which is the highest daily collection recorded in the history of the NCS. Also, the command recorded N145 billion revenue collection in the month of October which represented the highest monthly revenue collection by any customs command.
In the area of anti-smuggling within the period under review, the command recorded fifty four (54) seizures with a Duty Paid Value of N22,847,295,900.00. These seizures were made due to infractions like the contravention of the extant import/export prohibition lists, false declaration, unlawful concealment and others.
A breakdown of the seizures comprises of prohibited items such as used clothing, foreign parboiled rice, vegetable oil, tomato paste among others.
Comptroller Jaiyeoba has sounded a note of warning to smugglers and traders involved in any form of illegality that Apapa port is a no-go area as any attempt to test Its resolve would be met with the seizure of their wares, arrest and prosecution of all suspects in accordance with the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA) 2023.
On collaboration with other government agencies, the Controller, since assumption of office, has ensured stronger collaboration with sister government agencies like the NPA, Police, NDLEA, NAFDAC, DSS, NAQS, Port Health Service and others in the area.
According to him, “We understand the dynamic nature of maritime related crimes and have resolved to keep working together while trying to think ahead of the criminal elements who may want to use Apapa port. the collaboration has yielded gains in our individual services and ensuring Apapa port remains safe for port users.”
On stakeholders engagement, the Controller, since assumption of office, has ensured that the various stakeholders like the importers, exporters, Licensed Customs Agents, freight forwarding operators and other port users are being regularly educated on the need to be compliant at all times. He reiterated that the command operates an open door policy where it meets regularly with stakeholders to address matters of common interest.
The dispute resolution, query and amendment seats have been made more active to address the needs and legitimate demands of the port users too. The Controller also urged compliant traders to keep up their good deeds while advising others to emulate the virtue of honesty noting that integrity is key to the achievement of 48 hours cargo clearance.
Comptroller Jaiyeoba seized the opportunity to solicit support of every player in the port system including haulage operators, terminal operators, clearing/forwarding agents and shipping companies towards the achievement of 48 hours cargo clearance. He said, “it is achievable in no distant time if we all play our roles effectively.”
While assuring of the readiness of the command to facilitate legitimate trade and contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth, the CAC said, “As we begin the new year, the command is urging the port users to always make sincere declaration, keep themselves abreast with import and export prohibition with a view to abiding by them and paying their customs duties at all times.”
The CAC thanked the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR and his management team for providing the command with an enabling environment to discharge its duties effectively. He equally extended his special appreciation to the officers and men of the command for their relentless efforts, the stakeholders and the media for their unwavering support.
He believed that together, they had recorded great strides in blocking areas of revenue leakage and ensured Apapa command remained a shining example among its peers in Nigeria and the West African subregion.
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