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Revenue: Malanta Hits The Bull’s Eyes, Nets N1.2Tn ‘22

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BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA

Despite the not too salutary operational atmosphere for the year ended 2022, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Apapa Area Command raked in a whooping One trillion, twenty-two billion, five hundred and thirty million, five hundred and twenty-three thousand, six hundred and ninety- nine naira, four kobo (N1,022,530,523,699.4) revenue, January to December 2022. 

According to the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Malanta Ibrahim Yusuf, the figure is 16.07% higher than the Eight hundred and seventy billion, three hundred and eighty-eight million, three hundred and forty thousand, six hundred and fifty naira, sixty-five kobo (N870,388,340,650.65) collected in 2021.

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A trail blazer of uncommon proportion, Malanta took the command by storm when the Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) posted him to the command in 2020, erecting various cutting edge technology and smart procedures that includes inter-agencies synergy, enhanced stakeholders engagements, savvy enforcement protocol tied to a structured intelligence flow; with an unbreakable top-to-bottom  feedback   system.

Briefing reporters Thursday at the command’s newly commissioned state-of-the-art conference hall, Malanta  disclosed that the command also recorded 6.4 million metric tons export  with a total value of $68.5 million Free onboard (FOB), and a naira equivalent of N28.2 billion of non- oil commodities.

He listed items exported through the command for the period under review to include steel bars, agricultural produce such hibiscus, sesame seeds, cocoa, cashew nuts, ginger, soya beans, and mineral products.

On anti-smuggling and illicit importation, the command under Malanta’s watch intercepted a total of one hundred and fifty-seven (157) containers with a duty paid value (DPV) of N14.4 billion, as against one hundred and two (102) containers recorded in 2021 with DPV of N31.8 billion.

Malanta explained that while trade facilitation received unwavering focus, there was also high level alert on national security through uncompromised, unrelenting surveillance and monitoring. On an overview of 2022 activities and leadership style, he said:

“The year 2022 was characterised with several challenges in the economic and trade supply chain. However, the command was able to make some laudable achievement using technology-driven initiatives to maximise our revenue collection, enforcement of anti-smuggling operations, export promotion and synergy with our noble stakeholders in the industry.

“The central concern of this administration is to deploy technology to automate our processes and procedures to maintain a feat between trade facilitation, revenue generation and security of the nation. As a lead agency in trade facilitation, we are constantly informed in reinventing our strategy and share our vision with other agencies in the port, through connectivity and joint one-stop boarding of vessels and examination of cargo.

“It will be recall that from the second quarter of last year, the industry has experienced a backdrop in trade, occasioned by fluctuation in exchange rate and a sharp drop in the purchasing power by the consumers which made trade unpredictable.

“However, with all the above-mentioned setbacks in the clearance value chain, the command was able to collect revenue to the tune of One trillion, twenty-two billion, five hundred and thirty million, five hundred and twenty-three thousand, six hundred and ninety- nine naira, four kobo (N1,022,530,523,699.4) as revenue for the year 2022. This is 16.07% higher than the Eight hundred and seventy billion, three hundred and eighty-eight million, three hundred and forty thousand, six hundred and fifty naira, sixty-five kobo (N870,388,340,650.65) collected in 2021.”

For his knack at improving the lot of the command and ensuring that its activities are in tandem with a model port system, the Secretary General of African Continental Free Trade Area, His Excellency, Wamkele Mene commended Malanta and his officers and men when His Excellency visited the command in June 2022.

Still speaking on some of the innovations that unplugged the outstanding 2022 performance, Malanta said, “As part of the Command’s trade facilitation initiative, officers have been selected, trained and dedicated to address complaints through dispute resolution and ensure transaction within our systems are monitored with precision and control. We will continue to improve on our effort to achieve excellence in service delivery.

On anti-smuggling, the Apapa Customs boss said, “The Command has intensified its anti-smuggling operations through leveraging on its technological infrastructure to ensure that illicit trade which pose threat to the national security and wellbeing of the society are being detected and controlled from finding their way to our society.

“In the year under review, a total number of one hundred and fifty-seven (157) containers with a duty paid value (DPV) of N14.4 billion were seized, as against one hundred and two (102) containers with DPV of N31.8 billion seized in the year 2021.”

Top on the items seized are fake and prohibited drugs without NAFDAC certification such as overdose drugs of Tramadol and codeine syrup; foreign parboiled rice, vegetable oil, processed/unprocessed wood, used clothing’s, etc.

He disclosed that 60 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures.

“So far, a total number of 60 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seizures and are at various stages of investigation and prosecution by other agencies of government we handed over to.”

Malanta warned that command will remain a no-go area for any form of illegality. On inter agency collaboration and stakeholders’ engagement, he said:

“Our collaboration with other agencies of government has greatly enhanced our productivity. During our tenure, record shows that practical involvement of agencies, inter agency collaboration, networking, incidence profiling, information gathering/processing and experience shared has resulted to a lot of interception of life threating import of dangerous drugs and various prohibited items that contravene the relevant sections of the CEMA CAP C45 LFN 2004 as amended. We will continue to build on this synergy to ensure that those recalcitrant criminal minded elements using Apapa port to perpetrate their nefarious activities are dealt with decisively.

“The command has promoted a culture of regular stakeholder engagement with bonded terminal operators, importers, exporters, freight forwarders, licensed customs agents, shipping companies, and others. The need for compliance has always been the thrust of our meetings. We continue to sensitize them on the need to comply with extant trade guidelines for faster and cheaper clearance of cargo and to avoid losing their investment and possible prosecution.”

He commended compliant traders who engage in sincere declarations, pay accurate duty and obey extant import and export guidelines without violating the prohibition lists, and assured that the command will continue to create a conducive working environment for them and the protection of their investments.

 

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