Customs, Apapa Command Collects N1.172trn, Hits N22.8b DPV Seizures
By Jerry Aguigbo
The Apapa Command of Nigeria Customs Service has kept the tempo of improved revenue collection by crossing the N1 trillion mark in the face of declining trade volume, promoting trade facilitation and sustained its anti- smuggling activities to protect the nation’s economy.
A press statement made public by CSC Abubakar Usman, the Command’s Public Relations officer, the Area Controller, Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeola disclosed that
the command in 2023, lived up to its mandate by ensuring enabling trading environment for importers, exporters, shipping companies, terminal operators, bonded warehouse owners and others whose businesses go through customs control.
He revealed that the command has recorded remarkable feat in the areas of revenue collection and trade facilitation in the outgone year by collecting a total of One trillion, one hundred and seventy-two billion, four hundred and fourteen million, seven hundred and ninety-three thousand, nine hundred and sixty naira and thirty-two kobo (N1,172,414,793,960.32) in the year 2023 which is over N149.8b above the revenue collection of N1,022,530,523,699.40 in 2022.
Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba said the 2023 collection is 14.6% higher than 2022 figures of N1,022,530,523,699.40
Under Comptroller Jaiyeoba’s watch, the command made N11.3b daily collection on November 22, 2023 which is the highest daily collection recorded in the history of the NCS. In the same vein, the command recorded N145b revenue collection in the month of October 2023 which represented the highest monthly revenue collection by any customs command.
In the area of anti-smuggling within the period under review, the command made fifty-four (54) seizures with a Duty Paid Value of N22,847,295,900.00
These seizures, Compt. Jaiyeola explained, were made due to infractions like contravention of our extant import/export prohibition lists, false declaration, unlawful concealment and others.
A break-down of the seizures comprise of prohibited items such as used clothing, foreign parboiled rice, vegetable oil, tomato paste, etc.
Comptroller Jaiyeoba has sounded a note of warning to smugglers and traders involved in any form of illegality that Apapa Port is a no-go area as any attempt to test our resolve will be met with seizure of their wares, arrest and prosecution of suspects in accordance with the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA) 2023.
The Controller, since his assumption of office has ensured stronger collaboration with sister government agencies like the NPA, police, NDLEA, NAFDAC, DSS, NAQS, Port Health Service and others in the area.
His words, “We understand the dynamic nature of maritime related crimes and have resolved to keep working together while trying to think ahead of criminal elements who may want to use Apapa Port. The collaboration has yielded gains in our individual services and ensuring Apapa port remains safe for port users”.
The statement further stressed that the CAC, since assumption of office has ensured that various stakeholders like importers, exporters, licensed customs agents, freight forwarding operators and other port users are being regularly educated on the need to be compliant at all times. While reiterating that the command operates an open-door policy where stakeholders are met regularly with to address matters of common interest.
“The dispute resolution, query and amendment seats have been made more active to address the needs and legitimate demands of port users too. The Controller also urged compliant traders to keep up their good deeds while advising others to emulate the virtue of honesty, noting that integrity is key to the achievement of 48hrs cargo clearance”.
Comptroller Jaiyeoba also seized this opportunity to solicit the support of every player in the port system, including haulage operators, terminal operators, clearing/forwarding agents, and shipping companies towards the achievement of 48hrs cargo clearance. He said “It is achievable in no distant time if we all play our roles effectively” according to the Controller.
According to him,”this command is ready to facilitate legitimate trade and contribute to Nigeria’s economic growth.
As we begin the new year, the command is urging port users to always make sincere declarations, keep themselves abreast with import and export prohibitions with a view to abiding by them and paying their customs duties at all times.”
The CAC thanked the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, and his Management Team for providing officers with the enabling environment to discharge their duties effectively.
Comptroller Jaiyeoba extends his special appreciation to officers and men of the Command for their relentless efforts, esteemed stakeholders and members of the media for their unwavering support.
He believes that together the Command has recorded great strides in blocking areas of revenue leakage and ensuring Apapa Port remains a shining example among its peers in Nigeria and the West African subregion.