Apapa Customs impounds 46 offensive containers
Nets N366bn Jan-June ‘21
BY EGUONO ODJEGBA
The Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) intercepted a total of forty six (46) containers of questionable imports between January and June 2021, in addition to generating a total of N366 billion in revenue, representing 61% increment compared to N227 billion collected by it in the corresponding period of 2020.
This is even as its star collection made in the month of June 2021 stood at N78.4 billion, dwarfing the collection for June 2020 with over 90% increase over and above the figure of N42.4 billion.
Instructively, owing to the manifest and sustained anti-smuggling drive of the command and the increased level of compliance, smuggling activities scaled downwards significantly. Equally, the Command processed export goods worth N272.3 billion within the period under review, netting a total of 1.6million metric tons with free on board (FOB) Value of $103 billion.
Apapa Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta Ibrahim, at a press briefing today said the export include agricultural goods such as sesame seed, ginger and hibiscus flower; and other mineral resources.
He said, “The Export statistics of the Command showed that good worth N272.3 billion have been exported through Apapa port between Jan-Jun 21. These exports include Agricultural goods such as sesame seed, ginger, hibiscus flower and other mineral resources.
“The total tonnage of the said export stood at 1.6 million tones with FOB value of $103 billion.”
Ibrahim who took journalists around a number of the command’s terminals to see some of the seized containers and their contents, said the infractions were largely driven by concealements and underpayments.
The Apapa Customs Area boss said the command’s renewed vigour stem from the robust support and encouragement he and his management team received from the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) and his management team.
“On this note and on behalf of the officers and men of the Command, I would like to extend my profound appreciation to the Comptroller-General of Customs and his Management team for the opportunity, trust, support and encouragement given to us in the course of discharging our responsibilities”, he said.
He explained that underhand deals are most always motivated by the desire to dodge accurate payment of revenue duty, noting that his officers and men are ever vigilant and ever ready to match unscrupulous clearing agents and their principal, wit for wit, strategy for higher strategy.
The customs area controller boasted that his officers possess the wherewithal to degrade severy antics of the mugglers and to continue to deplete their wall chest of funds, for as long as they elect to engage in unwholesoime and illegitimate trade’ even as he described the half year revenue performance as unprecedented and expressed optimism to sustain the tempo until the end of the year.
“This unprecedented record is a great validation of our new approach to revenue drive. It is also fitting to emphasize here that this volume of revenue has never been recorded in the history of the Flagship Command of the Nigeria Customs Service.”
Some of the seized containerized goods showcased include syntethic grass declared as spare parts, soaps, prepared tomato source, textiles and illict drugs. According to him, “This is a synthetic grass, but the impoter and his agenty declared it as spare parts. The reason is simple, to dodge full payment of customs duty.
“But like I have always said, our officers and men have the wherewithal to continue to ctach up with them, and to overtake them. We are always a step ahead of them, and we have been eroding their wall chest of funds.
“As you can see, instead of paying about N4million duty, this agent and his importer have forfeited everything to the federal government, because false declaration is outright forfeiture.”
He continued, “But the matter is not going to end there, investigation into all of the seizures are ongoing, and those involved will be identified, arrested and prosecuted”, he said, and urged importers to embrace compliance, assuring that the command has everything going for it in terms of trade facilitation.
“Finally, I want to use this medium to urge all importers, exporters, Customs brokers and freight forwarders to imbibe the culture of compliance as part of their standard operating procedure because it will reduce the time and cost of doing business.
“I equally wish to sincerely thank our valuable stakeholders in the clearance value chain, government agencies operating in the port.”