By Seun Ibiyemi
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Apapa Area Command, says the command generated N870.39 billion revenue from January to December 2021.
The Area Controller, Comptroller Malanta Ibrahim, said this at a news conference on Thursday in Lagos.
Ibrahim added that the command during the period intercepted contraband goods worth N31.23 billion.
Ibrahim noted that the revenue generated had been remitted to the federation and non-federation accounts of the Federal Government respectively.
He said that the revenue profile of the command had significantly increased by about 68 per cent when compared with N518.4 billion generated in 2020.
“The year 2022 is a year of hope and high expectations, particularly with increase in the service revenue target of N4.1trillion.
“For us in Apapa area command, we have already boarded and fastened our seat belts toward the realisation of this revenue target and we will leverage on deployment of digital transformation.
“The transformation will further harmonise the activities of our stakeholders toward a seamless ease of doing business in the port,” he said.
Ibrahim noted that the command in line with the provision of extant circulars, trade guidelines and enforcement of government policy measures strengthened its anti-smuggling operations against economic saboteurs.
He pointed out that this was through credible intelligence driven operations and continuous partnering with other relevant agencies for effective port management.
Ibrahim said the command made 103 seizures and worthy to mention was the seizure of 46.55 kilogramme of cocaine concealed on vessels MV Karteria and MV Chayanee Naree laden with raw sugar.
He listed some of the seized items as: foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste, secondhand clothes, unregistered pharmaceuticals like captagon pills, tramadol, codeine syrup and others.
“These were seizures made in accordance with provision sections 46, 47 and 161 of CEMA (Customs and Excise Management Act) Cap C45 LFN 2004.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I wish to repeat here that no matter whose ox is gored the command is not going to tolerate any form of illicit behavior in the trade supply chain.
“We are not only going to expose these recalcitrant traders, we will ensure that they are brought to book with maximum penalty under the laws of the land,” he said.
On export, he said the command recorded a boom in exportation of non-oil commodities with about 110 per cent increase in tonnage.
Ibrahim said that the Free on Board value for exported items also rose to 641 million dollars from 340 milion dollars in 2020.
He listed the items exported to include steel bars, agricultural and mineral products, among others.
The area controller said that the command had strengthened risk assessment capacity through forensic system audit and dispute resolution procedures in accordance with the World Customs Organisation (WCO) standard.
Ibrahim said that the command had achieved industrial harmony with all government agencies in Apapa port especially the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and others.
He said that as regards the scanners gotten, 70 per cent of its procedures had been deployed, noting that by end of February, it would be fully deployed.
The area controller added that deployment of the scanner would not only increase revenue but would beef up security due to the fact that it would reveal any kind of concealment.
Also, Mrs Olufumilayo Olotu, Port Manager, Lagos Port Complex, said that as regards export, presently lilypond had been identified as the final export processing centre for goods coming to the port complex.
Olori said that the NCS and other government agencies would be informed of the takeoff date in due course.
“This means that whatever has been done and sealed there can now approach the port, no stoppage along the port corridor; it is just for them to come to the port and then to the vessel.
“If we are an import dependent nation, it will not build our economy, it is when we are able to export our goods and they reach the destination in the right quality and quantity, then the nation can compete effectively in the sub-region,” she said.
The manager said that collaboration among agencies in the port corridor was key and activities within this axis had been very successful because of the collaboration enjoyed by everyone.
“We are all here to ensure that the necessary platform is given for everybody to do the right thing and for the name Nigeria not to attract any negative comment anymore,” she said.