The Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said despite the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, it raked in N110.2 billion revenue between January and March 2020 with seizures of eight containers and four vehicles worth N12.5 billion.
Controller of the Command, Comptroller Muhammed Abba – Kura, who disclosed this in a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the Command, Nkiru Nwala said the amount generated showed an increase of N15.4 billion when compared to the corresponding period of 2019.
Abba-Kura said while the command collected N81.748 billion in the first quarter of 2018, it recorded the sum of N94.717 billion in 2019.
“The year 2020 is surrounded with lots of challenges globally and Nigeria is not isolated from these challenges as critical sectors of the economy are adversely affected. However, for us in the Nigeria Customs Service, and in particular, the Apapa Area Command we remain resolute at ensuring that we collect the much needed revenue for the Federal Government and also ensure the safety and well being of the citizenry.
“This is through curtailing smuggling to its barest minimum while facilitating legitimate import and export trades. At the height of these challenges, the Apapa Area Command was able to beat its revenue generation records in the past two years i.e. 2018 and 2019 respectively by a huge margin,” he said.
The Customs boss explained that the huge increase in revenue collection was a product of many factors including strict application of import guidelines, increased level of compliance by stakeholders and the Command’s openness to address all complaints from the part of importers promptly amongst other measures.
The CAC also seized the opportunity to remind stakeholders that in line with the Presidential directives, the Apapa port remain open and officers are on ground discharging their functions of collecting revenue and securing the nation seaports against influx of prohibited goods.
On anti-smuggling, the Customs boss noted that 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 equals the entire seizures of 2019 in terms of Duty Paid Value which stood at N12.5 billion. Items seized in the first quarter includes; Rice, Used Clothes, Unregistered Drugs and Vegetable oil. Other seized items include one exotic Rolls Royce car that was valued at over one hundred million naira,” he said.
Abba-Kura added that the export unit recorded another boost in the command from a total of 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 $5,202,567.00 US dollar which was equivalent N1, 591,986,502.00 billion. The value grew to $72,442,394.00 US dollars, which is equivalent to N22, 167,372,564.00 only. This boost in exports was notable in agriculture, mineral resources and steel bars among others, he said.