Acting Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service, Assistant Comptroller General Charles Edike has charged officers to redouble their efforts in terms of hard work with a view to surpassing their yearly target.
Edike who gave the charge yesterday while addressing officers of the Apapa area command during his first official visit to commands in the zone said even with the low level of importation being experienced in the country, officers can still improve on their revenue collection by ensuring that all loopholes are completely blocked.
“Now that things are hard, go everywhere, go into the system, look for infractions, if there are, go for the person, let them pay and collect the revenue for government but if there is no fault, let them go.
“This is the time to bring out the best in us. You know tough people when things are tough and that is what this visit is all about. Even in this situation, we can still do better meaning that officers should think out of the box. Things we look at as not being important before now; go for them even if it is one kobo go for it and get it on out.
“Come rain, come shine, Apapa should and must always be number one, no excuse whatsoever. We can still meet our target. For me I don’t see impossibility” he told the officers.
He also told the officers to ensure they wear their proper ranks and dress properly in a manner approved by the Customs Board.
While at Lilypond command, Edike expressed worry that business activities have been at the lowest ebb at the command due to non-transfer of containers to the terminal.
He said due to the economic downturn, it has become difficult to stem containers to the command, which has thus impacted on their revenue but expressed optimism that in no time, the situation would change for the better.
He said he cannot force APM Terminals to stem containers to the command as the terminal has also been affected by the drop in import activities which has slowed down activities at the facility but assured that on the request of importers, containers will be stemmed to Lilypond.
“When initially I was posted here I do send containers to Lilypond. Nobody told me to do it but in the interest of national revenue, I pushed containers there.
“But I can’t do that now when this place is more than 50 percent occupied. APMT is now laying off staff so if I still force them, how right will that be? That will be misuse of power and I can’t do that because God will also not be happy with my actions,” he said.
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