Despite current economic recession facing the nation, the Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it has a generated a revenue of N136.34 billion from January to May, 2017, beating the revenue for the corresponding period in 2016, which stood at N98.17 billion, by N38.07 billion (38.7%).
Addressing newsmen in Lagos yesterday of the efforts of the command so far this year, Comptroller Jibril Musa said the command was able to surpass its revenue target for May 2017 “irrespective of the prevailing harsh economic conditions evidenced by the low cargo throughput as well as drop in oil revenue” due to the officers’ diligence and commitment to work ethics, adding that he has always stressed value addition to leave his command progressively better each day.
According to him, the officers and men of the command were able to achieve this as result of enhanced compliance level of Apapa Customs officers under his leadership.
“Officers of the Command have enhanced work ethic, hence we have been able to recover N1.82 billion from infractions identified and treated within the period under review, and we would continue to intensify efforts at blocking all revenue leakages in order to sustain and build on this achievements.
Compt. Jubril also noted that the command’s enforcement unit had effected 24 detentions, including containers of frozen fish, medicaments and pharmaceuticals, among others, for offended ranging from under-invoicing, wrong classification/declaration, prohibition and under-payments, among others.
Equally intercepted and detained were “some export containers of scrap metals, wet blue (leather) and unprocessed wood, which fall under export prohibition,” adding that investigations were on-going but that the seized pharmaceuticals would be handed over to NAFDAC for necessary action.
Meanwhile, Musa called on prospective exporters of made-in-Nigeria products and other raw materials to come to the Apapa Command for their exports, stating that the command, more than ever before, was ready to facilitate export trade in view of government’s efforts at diversifying the economy through export of agricultural products.
Similarly, he disclosed that in line with government’s directive on ease of doing business, the command has created a functional Customs Examination Centre within the APM Terminal to “serve as a coordinating centre for all stakeholders in cargo examination at the Apapa Port,” adding that he had already met with critical agencies on the smooth operation of the centre.
Musa urged all stakeholders in import/export business to voluntarily comply with government’s fiscal policies through right and proper “documentations and other clearance procedures in order to have a seamless trade facilitation process in Apapa Port.”
However, the controller lamented the difficult environment in which they operate, characterized by the inherited old and “inadequate scanners,” and the bad port roads, which cause delay and untold hardship, which hinder the ease of doing business. Nevertheless, he expressed hope that the command would soon get new scanners, while also encouraging the terminals to meet their side of the bargain in the provision of certain equipment as everyone operates in a cycle, with each operation affecting the progress or otherwise of the other, which calls for synergy.
Meanwhile, the Apapa Command also handed over seven (7) 40ft containers of wrongly declared pharmaceutical products to the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Some of the seized products were NewDol, Relief Extra and Original (all pain relief drugs) that were falsely declared to be Cimetidine.
CAC Jubril said, “We have continued to tell importers to avoid these infractions by declaring their goods exactly how it is and to avoid such infractions. We would not relent in our efforts to discover such abnomalies”.
The seized containers are: MRKU 502209, MRKU 4415360, PONU 7294073, TCNU 842564, MRKU 469042, MRKU 434374 and PCIU 882791.