• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Customs generates N1.23trn in Apapa amid decline in trade volume

Customs generates N1.23trn in Apapa amid decline in trade volume

… Impounds contraband with 424m duty paid value

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Apapa Area Command said it generated over N1.23 trillion in revenue in the first half of the year, between January and June despite declining import volume.

Babatunde Olomu, Customs Area Controller of Apapa Area Command, told journalists in Lagos on Monday during a mid-year press briefing, that the revenue shows an increase of 143 percent compared to N421 billion collected in the corresponding period in 2023.

According to him, the Command took extra measures to prevent the loss of government revenue.

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“Upon taking over as Area Controller of Apapa, we set up a revenue recovery committee comprising of seasoned and dedicated officers with a mandate to carry out detailed look into areas of leakages, especially in bonded terminals under Apapa Command,” he said.

Olomu said Apapa Customs now applies a blend of intelligence with community relations to facilitate trade and fight criminality.

He said the Command has a team of dedicated officers responsible for addressing all complaints and resolving disputes within record time.

“We are also not leaving anything to chance for economic saboteurs as our nonintrusive inspection regime is fully operational and scanners are deployed for cargo examination with support of physical examination where and when necessary,” he said.

He assured stakeholders that his office is open to discussing anything that will facilitate legitimate trade and promote government interest at all times, including receiving information on suspected smuggling activities.

“Within the period under review, the command made seizures of 11 containers comprising prohibited items such as expired and unregistered pharmaceuticals, footwear, used clothing, armoured cables, and frozen poultry products with a Duty Paid Value of N424 million as against 42 seizures with a DPV of NI.4 billion made in the corresponding period in 2023.

“Just last week, we uncovered a large quantity of expired and unregistered pharmaceuticals in three by-40-foot containers with numbers TCKU 6928184, MRKU 4422733, MRSU 5550243, and another three by 40-foot container with the numbers MNBU 3934925, MEDU 9107559 and MEDU 9752980 loaded with 7,580 cartons of frozen poultry products unfit for human consumption, which is against schedule 3 of the revised import prohibition list of the Common External Tariff (CET),” Olomu explained.

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The Apapa Customs boss said the imports were seized because they violated section 233 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.

He warned that the harmful effects of fake and unregistered pharmaceutical products on citizens are unquantifiable and that Customs owe Nigerians the duty of preventing them from being exposed to such dangerous importation.

“We want to use this opportunity to warn smugglers and other forms of criminal activities frowned upon by the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 and other extant laws, that Apapa command is poised to nip illicit importation in the bud,” he said.

He lauded the Comptroller-General of Customs, and the management team for providing us with the needed support and leadership in discharging our responsibilities.