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Apapa Customs Collects N502Bn, Rejigs System Profiling, Manifest Tracking

BY FUNMI ALUKO

The Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NC) said collected a total of N502,987,516,219.26 in revenue between January 2023 to date in addition to recording 16 seizures,  one of which is the arrest of two pistols with a combined Duty Paid Value of N1.4 billion within the same period.

Some of the offensive items seized

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According to the command, it collected the highest figure of N9.2b for July 20, 2023, being the highest daily collection ever recorded since inception of the command; even as it ascribed the impressive scorecard to increased compliance largely driven by improved system profiling, manifests tracking and undivided commitment of officers and men.

The seized arms

To sustain the traction, the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Auwal Baba Mohammed in a statement by the Command Public Relations Officer, CSC Abubakar Usman, called on all port users to make compliance their watchword, noting that compliance alone can shield traders against risks, such as the risk of seizure and imposition of penalties and possible arrests and prosecution.

The statement reads: “The Apapa Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has collected a total of N502,987,516,219.26 from January 2023 to date and made 16 seizures worth a duty paid value of N1.4 billion within the same period.

“Customs Area Controller of the Command , Comptroller Auwal Baba Mohammed, who described the revenue collection and seizures made as fallouts of increased compliance, urged officers to redouble  their efforts in revenue collection, trade facilitating and strict enforcement of anti smuggling activities.

Part of the questionable imports seized by the command

“The command made a collection of N9.2b on July 20, 2023. This feat is the highest daily collection it ever achieved in its existence since the port was established.”

Giving a breakdown of its anti-smuggling activities, Usman said, “The seizures made within the period comprised of prohibited drugs, used tyres, rice, vegetable oil, and sundry items. It is noteworthy that the command made a seizure of two pistols inside one groupage cargo.  One suspect is arrested, and the matter is undergoing investigation.

It is instructive that the Command under the watch of Mohammed has achieved an increased level of compliance by importers, exporters, and their agents through deliberate system profiling and manifest tracking.

“Under the CAC’s direct supervision, dedicated officers of the command are using the system profiling yardstick to gauge the integrity levels of importers and consignees. This has helped in treating traders in line with their previous transaction records, which is reassuring that compliance pays through time saving and cost efficiency.”

While admonishing all port users to be complaint the Apapa Customs boss explained that non compliant traders spend more time and money paying for terminal space due to demurrage plus higher cost due to DN”s and penalties.

Unwavering in the demand for the due process, there are strong indications that Mohammed has also raised the level of electronic manifest tracking to accelerate trade facilitation leveraging on available technology.

To ensure that his officers and men on the same page with him, he charged them during a recent monthly meeting to sustain and improve upon the level of discipline the command has been noted for under his watch.

He characterised discipline as the foundation of good work etiquette, such as punctuality, diligent application of Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA) 2023 and other noble virtues that align with the law; while stressing that the nation as well as the NCS looks up to the command with high expectations in terms of optimal collection of revenue.

“As we facilitate trade for compliant traders, let’s be wary of the possibility  of releasing uncustom goods in error or in the guise of facilitating trade. I hereby charge you to do better in the second half of 2023 as the glory for the successes recorded in the first half belongs to all of us” Mohammed enjoined his officers.

 

 

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