Customs losses N18bn to #EndSARS protest in Lagos

Ali seeks separate budget for Customs college  
Hameed Ali, Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service.

 

The Nigeria Customs Service has lost about N18billion at the Apapa and Tin Can Island commands to the three days curfew imposed by the Lagos State Government occasioned by the #EndSARS protest which crippled business activities at the port last week.

Public Relations Officer, Apapa Area Command, Usman said the command, which is the highest revenue collecting customs formation in Lagos lost an average of N10billion going by its daily target of N3billion during the period the protest and curfew lasted.

He said, “The command had lost between N9 to N10 billion during the period the curfew lasted from Tuesday to Friday because we make an average collection of N2billion to 3billion in a day.”

He, however, expressed optimism that with normalcy gradually returning to the ports environs and clearing agents coming to clear their consignments, the command would meet its revenue target for the year.

Spokesperson of the Tin Can Island Port, Uche Ejesieme, also confirmed that the protest impacted on the command’s revenue as agents were unable to document their entries and take delivery of cleared consignment.

He puts the command’s revenue loss to the tune of N8bilion with an estimated daily collection of N1.5 billion to N2 billion.

“We did not work at all for four days. We have a daily projection of N1.5 to N2 billion just to ensure that we try to meet up the official monthly target but because there was no work during that period our expected revenue did not come for the period that the Lagos State government announced that there would be curfew,” he said.

On some of the demands raised by the protesters calling for the scrapping of the Federal Operations Units, Strike Force and the monitoring units set up by the Tin Can Island command as well as concerns raised on alerts, Ejesieme said the some of the genuine demands that are within the reach of the command are being addressed by the Controller of the command, Comptroller Musa Baba.

“The Controller had directed that the protesters should put their request in writing and he is determined to ensure that areas where we need to make adjustment, necessary adjustment be made. But our major emphasis for now is trade facilitation and any compliant trader is always given expeditious clearance in the value chain.

“Some of the demands which we feel are legitimate would be looked into. The ones that are beyond us such as FOU and Strike Force have been communicated to the headquarters for further action as we have been sending incident reports to give them updates on the development,” he said.