By Sandra Chukwunyere
Despite Covid-19 epidemic that is ravaging world which Nigeria is not an exception, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Apapa Area 1 Command of the service has made a mouth watering revenue of 1 10.204 bi11ion naira indicating an appreciable increase of over 15.4 billion naira when compared to the corresponding period of 2019. 110,204,655,904 billion in the first quarter of the year 2020.
The Command affirmed that notwithstanding the global challenges which is critically effecting every sectors of the economy, Apapa Customs Command remains resolute ensuring that the Command collects the much needed revenue for the Federal Government and also ensure the safety and well being of the citizenry through curtailing smuggling to its barest minimum while facilitating legitimate import and export trades.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC) Comptroller Abba- Kura made this known through the Command Public Relations Office(PRO) DSC Nkeiruka Nwala, said: “Revenue: At the height of these challenges. the Apapa Area Command was able to beat its records of the past two years i.e. 2018 and 2019 respectively by a huge margin. The break down of revenues collected is presented in the table as follows.”
PRO, who gave the breakdown of the revenue figure and export revealed that the Command made a total of 35,929,260,672 in January, 35,785,615,866 in February and 38,489,779,365 in March, 2020.
While the Command collected 81 .748 billion naira in the first quarter of 2018. in the corresponding period of 2019 the Command recorded an appreciable increase in revenue to 94.717 billion naira. 1nterestingly, in the first quarter of 2020, the Command collected a huge sum of 1 10.204 bi11ion naira indicating an appreciable increase of over 15.4 billion naira when compared to the corresponding period of 2019. This huge increase in revenue collection was a product of so many factors including strict application of import guidelines. increased level of compliance by stakeholders and air openness to address all complaints from the part of importers promptly amongst .
On export Unit, the Command recorded 51,601 metric tonnes of export in first quarter of 2019. it increased to 183.578 metric tonnes in corresponding period of 2020. Furthermore, the Free on Board (FOB) value for the export in first quarter 2019 was five million. two hundred and two thousand five hundred and sixty-seven ($ 5,202,567.00) US Dollars which was equivalent to one billion. five hundred and ninety-me million. nine hundred and eighty-iive thousand five hundred and two naira (#159198650200), the value grew to seventy two million four hundred and forty two thousand. three hundred and ninety four (372.442.394.00) US Dollars which is equivalent to twenty two billion. one hundred and sixty seven million. three hundred and seventy two thousand five hundred and sixty-four (# 22.167.372.56400) naira only. This boost in expats was notable in Agriculture. Mineral Resources and Steel Bars among others. ,
On anti-Smugging: Similarly, the Command also recorded an appreciable increase in its anti-smuggling drive leading to the seizure of 80 containers and 4 vehicles. All the seized items contravened some of the provisions of extant laws as enshrined in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45 LFN, 2004 as amended. The number of first quarter seizures in the Command almost equal the entire seizures of 2019 in terms of Duty Paid Value which stood at 12.5 billion naira.
Items seized in the first quarter includes; Rice. Used Gothes. Unregistered hugs and Vegetable oil .Other seized items include one exotic Rolls Royce car that was valued at over one hundred million naira. The Combined Du ty Paid Value (DPV) of these items stood at about 12 billion naira”
She said ” Accordingly, the CAC wishes to use this medium to remind our esteemed stakeholders that in line with the Presidential directives, the Apapa Port remains open and our others are on ground discharging their functions of collecting revenue and seeming the nation sea ports against inf1ux of prohibited goods.
Comptroller Abba-Kura “further called on importers to use this opportunity and evacuate their consignments before normal activities resumes in the seaport”
He wishes ” once more reiterate the resolved the Service and the Apapa Area Command in particular to serving our esteemed stakeholders by way of discharging our duties with utmost diligence while calling on other stakeholders in the clearance chain to play their respective roles to move this nation forward especially at this trying times. He prays that the world overcomes the problem of COVID-19 soonest”