Apapa port Customs collects N74.1bn in first quarter

The Apapa Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service generated revenue of N74.11billion in the first quarter of 2015.

The command said the figure was N55.36billion higher than the amount generated in 2014.

The Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Charles Edike gave the revenue profile at a stakeholders’ meeting convened by the command in Lagos yesterday.

He attributed the increase in revenue recorded in the period under review to the improved and dedicated approach to trade facilitation adopted by the command.

He said, “The fact is that we have keyed into the strategic changes made by the management of the Nigeria Customs Service and the Comptroller-General of Customs.”

Edike said 118 vessels called at the port in the first quarter of 2015, compared with 130 vessels, which called in the same period of 2014.

The controller explained that 48,487 containers were discharged in the first quarter of 2015 in contrast to 57,908 containers discharged in the same period of 2014.

“A total of 164 per cent of yard occupancy was recorded during the first quarter of 2015, while 203 per cent was recorded in the same period in 2014,” Edike said.

Edike, however, said the trade indicators had no negative effect on the revenue generated by the command.

Edike said, “We are not sparing erring officers and we have intelligence officers who monitor and track transactions.

“If we notice any irregularities anywhere, we tackle them immediately.

“We also appreciate the agents working in Apapa; as a number of them have now seen the handwriting on the wall and have taken caution.”

He told customs agents working in the command that only transparency could protect anyone working in the command.

The controller said the revenue boost experienced by the command was mainly due to the improved processing of documents for cargo clearance.

He said delays were no longer tolerated from officers handling the various assignments.

Meanwhile Edike has refuted claims by some clearing agents that officers that posted out of the command are still working there.

Some clearing agents had in January raised alarm of an increasing number of retired officers still working under disguise, most of whom according to them, were responsible for shoddy deals at the command.

“After investigation by the then officer in charge of CIU and DC Enforcement, we found out that there was no truth in that observation. The officer that they saw was an officer that was earlier transferred but the transfer was cancelled and he came back to his duty post.

“Another had retired but chose to be a clearing agent and of course he is at liberty to do any other business, we can’t stop him so long as he does not wear customs uniform. So it was just a false alarm, “he explained.

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