- NCS rakes in N522bn in six months at Apapa
Amid concerns that officers of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have been unwilling to utilize scanners deployed at Apapa Port, the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Apapa Command, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf has given reasons for the non-functional state of the scanners at Apapa.
Comptroller Malanta revealed this during a press briefing at the Command today, where he disclosed that Customs have collected over N522billion revenue in the first half of the year 2022.
The Area Controller posited that the ongoing standard gauge rail construction in Apapa port goes through the Customs scanner, hence, the Service has been unable to use the scanning machines in order to prevent health challenges to rail workers from radioactive facility.
His words: “Scanners are already on ground but we have logistics challenge because the standard gauge rail line is passing through the scanning site. We can’t operate the scanners while the rail construction work is in progress because the radioactive activity would pose health threats to the workers.”
“These scanners have already been synchronized with the current platform of NCS which is the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS) II. The scanners in Onne and Tin Can Island are working.”
He, however, expressed optimism that with the level of cooperation from Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the intervention of the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki; within the next two months Apapa scanners will be deployed and utilized.
According to the Customs boss, the N522.4 billion collected from January to June 2022, connotes a 42.5% increase of N156 billion as against N366.5 billion collected in the first half of 2021.
Malanta stressed that this feat was made possible because of Customs officers’ resilience in ensuring identified revenue leakages are mitigated, while sustaining the level of compliance by the importers/ stakeholders in the clearance value chain.
On exports, he noted that the Command recorded a boom in the exportation of non-oil commodities with about 2.5 million metric tonnes (Mt) exported when compared to the 540,000 mt exported in the first six months of 2021.
“The Free on Board (FOB) value for the exported items also rose from $1.6 million in the year 2021 to $138 million in 2022. Items exported includes steel bars, agricultural and mineral products amongst others. The Federal Government policy and export incentive schemes have played vital roles in boosting export trade in Nigeria,” he said.
Meanwhile, he stated that 83 containers with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N8.3 billion were seized as part of efforts to curb the smuggling of dangerous items at the Command with 21 suspects arrested in connection with the seizures.
Some of the seized items include: 32 containers of Processed/Unprocessed wood; 5 containers of unregistered pharmaceuticals; 18 containers of used clothings/ shoes; 12 containers of foreign parboiled rice; 7 containers of vegetable oil; among others.