By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa Command has disclosed that it made a total of N790,630,406,980.96 as revenue between January and September, 2022.
This shows an exponential improvement of N181.5 billion as against N609 billion collected in the corresponding months of the year 2021, representing 29.8% increment.
Also, the command in its anti-smuggling operations recorded 145 seizures of various items in clear breach of sections 46 and 47 of Customs and Excise Management Act, CEMA CAP C45 LFN 2004, with a duty paid value (DPV) of N12,496,672,122.00 during the period under review.
The seized items include unregistered medicaments such as tramadol and codeine, processed/unprocessed wood, used clothing, ladies/men’s footwear, foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste, vegetable oil and other sundry items that falls under import/export prohibition list.
Briefing the media men, the Customs Area Controller (CAC) Apapa Command, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta Ibrahim in Lagos stated that the seizures was possible because of the tireless commitment of officers to ensure that all revenue leakages are mitigated, as well as sustaining the level of compliance by the importers/stakeholders in the clearance value chain.
His words: “Anti-smuggling activities has been one of the command’s focal points, especially with the activities of some unrepentant traders who are always looking for avenues to undermine our system.
“The command has fortified its forensic manifest management to monitor and detect fraudulent transaction through audit trial to ensure that illicit trade are being tracked before the declarations are lodged.
“Furthermore, 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”.
Compt. Malanta reemphasised that Apapa Command is continuously ready to assist in facilitating legitimate trade and ensuring that all forms of smuggling activities through false declaration on import/export done in defiance to extant trade guidelines will be detected through its layers of control mechanism.
He asked stakeholders to join hands with the command to ensure that items on the import/export prohibition list are strictly adhered to, and urged them to embrace the emerging realities of customs examination through non-intrusive inspection (NII) regime.
The CAC explained further that the non-intrusive inspection regime is geared towards increasing 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 thanked the Controller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) and his management team for an enabling platform for the command to perform its duties effectively and efficiently; government agencies in the port for their collaboration and synergy, officers and men of the command for their determined resilience, as well as compliant stakeholders for their support.
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