By Kenneth Jukpor
Despite the numerous fiscal challenges characterized by the coronavirus pandemic which has affected global trade, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Apapa Command has collected N110,204,655,904 in the first quarter of 2020 surpassing 2019 figures by N15.4billion.
While the Command collected N81.748 billion in the first quarter of 2018, in 2019 it recorded N94.717 billion; subsequently, in the first quarter of 2020 the Command collected N110.204 billion.
According to the Area Controller at the Command, Comptroller Mohammed Abba-Kura, this huge increase in revenue collection was a product of many factors including strict application of import guidelines, increased level of compliance by stakeholders and the Command’s openness to address all complaints from the part of importers promptly amongst other measures.
The CAC also seized the opportunity to remind stakeholders that in line with the Presidential directives, the Apapa port remain open and officers are on ground discharging their functions of collecting revenue and securing the nation seaports against influx of prohibited goods.
On anti-smuggling, the Customs boss noted that the Command recorded an increase in its anti-smuggling drive leading to the seizure of 80 containers and 4 vehicles.
“All the seized items contravened some of the provisions of extant laws as enshrined in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45 LFN, 2004 as amended. The number of first quarter seizures in the Command almost equal the entire seizures of 2019 in terms of Duty Paid Value which stood at N12.5 billion”
“Items seized in the first quarter includes; Rice, Used Clothes, Unregistered Drugs and Vegetable oil. Other seized items include one exotic Rolls Royce car that was valued at over one hundred million naira,” he said.
The Export Unit recorded another boost in the Command from a total of 51,601 metric tonnes of export in first quarter of 2019, it increased to 183,578 metric tonnes in corresponding period of 2020.
“Furthermore, the Free on Board (FOB) value for the export in first quarter 2019 was five million, two hundred and two thousand five hundred and sixty-seven ($ 5,202,567.00) US Dollars which was equivalent to one billion, five hundred and ninety-one million, nine hundred and eighty-five thousand five hundred and two naira (N1,591,986,502.00), the value grew to seventy two million four hundred and forty two thousand, three hundred and ninety four ($72,442,394.00) US Dollars which is equivalent to twenty two billion, one hundred and sixty seven million, three hundred and seventy two thousand five hundred and sixty-four (N22,167,372,564.00) only. This boost in exports was notable in Agriculture, Mineral Resources and Steel Bars among others”, Compt. Abba-Kura said.
The CAC reiterated the resolve of the Service at the Apapa Area Command to serve stakeholders in effectively discharging their duties with utmost diligence, even as he called on stakeholders in the cargo clearance chain to play their respective roles to move the nation forward especially at this time when the world overcomes the problem of COVID-19.
This information was contained in a press release signed by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Nkeiruka Nwala.