By Kenneth Jukpor
The Apapa Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has collected a total of N413.7bn as revenue between January and December 19th, 2019, exceeding its 2019 revenue target of N372billion by over N41billion.
The Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Mohammed Abba-Kura disclosed this to reporters in Lagos, yesterday at an end of the year media briefing.
Abba-Kura stated that the Command recorded monthly improvement in revenue collected since his emergence as Area Controller, attributing the feat to the complementary roles of the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU), Valuation unit, among others.
The Customs boss also opined that the current closure of borders in some parts of the country may have contributed to the increase in revenue collected at the Command following increased cargo traffic at seaports.
“The Command generated N414billion from January to December 19th 2019 as against N404billion generated between January to December 2018, which translates into about 111 per cent of the 2019 annual revenue target” Abba-Kura said.
He also revealed that the Command recorded the highest revenue figure of N42, 726 billion in the month of October.
Noting the significant amount of seizures involving pharmaceutical products, he appealed to importers of pharmaceutical products to adhere to the nation’s guidelines on importation of such products to rid the nation of prohibited medicaments and the hazardous consequences on the nation.
On export, he said the Command recorded high level of compliance on export declaration within the period under review.
According to him, the Command recorded a total of volume 262, 095.09 metric tons of exported goods with Free on Board (FOB) value of $132.760 million.
Meanwhile, he lamented that some exported items were returned having failed to meet the standards at the destined countries. Hence, he urged exporters using the Apapa Port, to always ensure their export products met minimum International standards before exporting to avoid the unpleasant incidents of returned consignments.
Speaking on the anti-smuggling activities of the Command in 2019, he noted that a total of 112 containers were seized as the various items violated import procedures.
He commended the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for its role in sharing information leading to seizure of pharmaceutical products, including tramadol imported without necessary approval from the agency.
“Other items include Tomato paste, vegetable oil, ladies and girls fashion wears, expired rice, armored glasses without End User Certificate (EUC) and drilling pipes labelled in foreign language etc. It is pertinent to emphasized here that virtually all these seized items are in gross violation of our extant laws and import guidelines. The Duty Paid Value (DPV) for these seizures stood at N12.8 billion” Abba-Kura said.
Highlighting some challenges that affected the operations of the Service at Apapa this year, he stressed the absence of functional scanners at the port, inaccessible port access roads; even as he expressed regret that one of the officers at the Command was murdered in his home earlier this year.