The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Apapa Area 1 Command on Friday said it generated the sum of N522.4billion in the first half of the year 2022. This represents 50 per cent of the commands revenue target of N1.27trillion for the year 2022.
The Customs Area Controller(CAC) of the command, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf who disclosed this while briefing the press on the command’s half year report in Lagos said the amount generated represents a 42.5 percent increase when compared to N366.5billion collected in the corresponding period of 2021.
He said the feat was made possible as a result of officers’ resilience in ensuring identified revenue leakages are mitigated, while sustaining the level of compliance by importers and other stakeholders in the clearance value chain. He expressed optimism that with the revenue feat, the command would surpass its annual target by year end.
According to him,“From January to June, we have been able to collect N522.4 billion and that is just the beginning of the year. If we add the ember months expectations, which always come with a much higher volume of imports than the first six months of the year, we are hoping that we will generate more and surpass our yearly target.”
Speaking on export, the Customs boss said the command facilitated exportation of non-oil commodities with about 2.5million metric tonnes above 540 metric tonnes recorded in the corresponding period of 2021.
He said the Free on Board (FOB) value of the exported items which included steel bars, agricultural and mineral products also rose from $1.6million in 2021 to $138million in 2022. “The Federal Government policy and export incentive schemes have played vital roles in boosting export trade in Nigeria and we in Customs are making sure that export trade that is not under the prohibition list is being facilitated,” he said.
Comptroller Yusuf said the command also recorded seizures of 83 containers with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N8.3billion within the review period. Giving a breakdown of the items seized, he said they include 32 containers of processed and unprocessed wood; five containers of unregistered pharmaceuticals; 18 containers of used clothes/shoes and 12 containers of foreign parboiled rice.
Others are seven containers of vegetable oil; three containers of tomato paste and one container of tramadol.
He said 21 suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizures while a suspect has been arrested in the recent seizure of 1/20 container of tramadol.
The suspect, he said, is currently undergoing investigation for possible prosecution. “The command has consistently strived in its core mandates of revenue generation, prevention and suppression of smuggling, trade facilitation, implementation of government fiscal policies as well as collaboration and cooperation with other government agencies to ensure ease of doing business in the port.
“To further strengthen the existing relationship between relevant government agencies in the port, the command had recently handed over two 20 feet containers laden with 150 cartons of illicit hard drugs to the NDLEA,” he said.
Responding to questions on why the scanners deployed at Apapa port have not been functional, Comptroller Yusuf explained that the ongoing standard gauge rail construction in Apapa port goes through the scanning site, hence the command has been unable to use the scanners to prevent health hazards to rail workers from radioactive elements that would be emitted from the scanning machines.
He said, “Scanners are already on ground. But we have logistics challenge which has to do with the standard gauge passing through the scanning site and we cannot use the scanner while work is in progress. “If we install the scanner while work is in progress the radioactive elements there would pose health threats to the workers. “The ones in Onne and Tin can ports are functional, it’s just the one for Apapa that has not been installed. But I am sure with communication and cooperation with the ministry of Transportation and Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the work is almost 90 percent completed. Before the next two months, the scanners will be utilized.”