* Rakes in N212.59bn
*Records N70.2bnexport revenue
*Tightens the noose on smugglers
By Frank Odinukaeze
The Apapa Customs Command headed by Comptroller AB Mohammed,has demonstrated intent of surpassing previous revenue target of the command as it has posted an impressive First Quarter revenue generation to the rune of
two hundred and twelve billion, five hundred and ninety-two million, six hundred and eighty thousand, seven hundred naira, ninety-nine kobo (N212,592,680,700.99) covering January-March 2023,even as the command has vowed to make life unbearable for economic saboteurs.
Comptroller Mohammed ,the Customs Area Controller(CAC)Apapa Command revealed this during a press briefing on the activities of the command in the first quarter of 2023,at the command’s office in Apapa on Tuesday.
Compt.Mohammed ,noted that the command’s functions of revenue generation and collection, suppression of smuggling and facilitating legitimate trade have been consistently implemented within the first three months of 2023.
He stated that since he took over as the command’s CAC,he has been meeting with various stakeholders and partner government agencies to ensure the tempo of compliance is sustained and improved upon.Adding that the command stood forthright in foiling attempts at smuggling prohibited items into and out of the country.
On export trade, Comptroller Mohammed said,”The command processed agricultural goods such as sesame seeds, ginger, hibiscus, mineral resources, steel ingot and others with a total tonnage of 110,448 metric tonnes in the first quarter of 2023. Statistics from the export report shows that the exported goods are worth seventy billion, two hundred million, eight hundred and twenty-nine thousand, three hundred and fifty-eight naira, sixty-seven kobo (N70,200,829,358.67) which is equivalent to Free on Board (FOB) value of $159,845,232.84″
On anti -smuggling,he noted that the command was committed to enforcing government fiscal policies and extant laws to ensure that all import and export consignments transiting through Apapa Port are duly examined.
He said this has come as a result of strengthened and effective collaboration and timely sharing of credible intelligence with sister government agencies in the port.
His words,”Within the period under review, the command made seizures of fourteen (14) containers comprising of prohibited items such as vegetable oil, footwears, used clothing, unprocessed wood, and tramadol tablets with a Duty Paid Value of twenty-two billion, ninety-nine million, six hundred and eighteen thousand, one hundred and eleven naira (N22,099,618,111.00).
“Members of the press, it is pertinent to mention that on Friday, 31 March 2023, we uncovered a large quantity of 225mg of tramadol tablets concealed in 2x40ft container numbers TRHU 4758549 and TRHU 6936803 where one hundred and forty-three million, eight hundred thousand (143,800,000) tablets of Tramadol 225mg were discovered in 720 cartons weighing 10.3 tonnes (10,386kg) that originated from India. This single seizure is valued at twenty-one billion, six hundred million naira (N21,600,000,000.00).
” We are on the look-out for those behind such unlawful importation for arrest and very soon we will track them down to face the full wrath of the law. As a service, we owe Nigerians the duty to prevent this kind of importation from entering the market to safeguard the health of the citizenry.
“Let me use this opportunity to warn perpetrators of smuggling, duty evasion and other forms of criminality frowned upon by the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) and other extant laws, that Apapa Command will only facilitate legitimate trade”.
He noted that since he assumed duty at the command ,he has been meeting with various stakeholders,including
importers, exporters, licensed agents, freight forwarders, and others.
” I am happy to note that these meetings are yielding good results and will be sustained in days ahead” he said.
Compt.Mohammed assured compliant traders of seamless trade facilitation.But affirmed that those others who are not compliant should not expect to enjoy any form of trade facilitation as the command is vigilant and alert to frustrate their efforts.