Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has collected over N790billion revenue between January and September 2022 at the Apapa Command, even as the Service debunked recent media reports of unauthorized release of containers from the Command.
Addressing newsmen today, the Customs Area Controller, Apapa Port, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta said the Command improved its revenue generation by 29.8 percent from N609billion generated in the corresponding period in 2021.
Speaking on anti-smuggling activities, he noted that the Command intercepted contrabands amounting to 145 different items such as; codeine, tramadol, unprocessed woods, among others worth N12.4billion in total.
His words: “In the period under review, the Command has collected revenue to the tune of N790.6billion which showed an exponential improvement of N181.5 billion as against N609 billion collected in the corresponding months of the year 2021.”
“This remarkable achievement was made possible because of our officers’ tireless commitment to ensure that all revenue leakages are being mitigated, as well as, sustaining the level of compliance by the importers/stakeholders in the clearance value chain.”
He also posited that the Command has fortified its forensic manifest management to monitor and detect fraudulent transactions through audit trials to ensure that illicit trade are tracked long before the declarations are lodged.
“The Enforcement Unit has been reinforced through improved collaboration and sharing of credible intelligence with relevant government agencies to suppress smuggling activities to its barest minimum,” he asserted.
The CAC, however, warned importers to be compliant, stressing that non-compliant traders will continue to face the full wrath of the law.
According to him, the deployment and utilization of scanners at the Apapa port further strengthens Customs position to curb illicit trade, loss of revenue, even as it expedites the examination process.
Some of the seized items include unregistered medicaments, such as; tramadol and codeine, processed and unprocessed wood, used clothing, ladies and men’s footwear, foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste, vegetable oil and other sundry items that fall under import or export prohibition list.
Reacting to a recent publication on a national daily alleging that three Customs officers were arrested at the Command for releasing already intercepted containers, Comptroller Malanta stated that there was no development of such at the Command.
Meanwhile, he assured that the Apapa Command remains committed to facilitating legitimate trade and ensuring that all forms of smuggling activities through false declaration on import/export done in defiance to extant trade guidelines are detected through effective layers of control mechanism.
“I want to crave the indulgence of our esteemed stakeholders to join hands with the Command to ensure that items that are on the import/export prohibition list are strictly adhered to, and urge them to embrace the emerging realities of customs examination through non-intrusive inspection (NII) regime.”
“The non-intrusive inspection regime is geared towards increasing the volume of cargo inspection, protection of national security, saving cost/clearing time, storing reliable data and images for reference purposes, and reducing human contact in the examination of containerized cargo,” he added.