No fewer than 40,000 TEU has been transferred from the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) Apapa to offdock terminals, according to the Customs Area Controller, Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Charles Edike.
While speaking at an event in Lagos on Wednesday, Edike said the revenue target allocated to the Customs premier port in Apapa is not more important than the overall target of N1.2 trillion given to the Comptroller General by the Federal government.
He said that although the command collected N30.5 billion in September, it had so far collected only N19.6 billion as at 22nd October, explaining that of greater importance is the overall national target.
He said his command would continue to stem containers to other less busy terminals as requested by the importer in order to facilitate trade, and pointed to the fact that it did not matter where the import duty of a consignment was collected.
The customs boss said the 40,000 containers were moved to other less busy terminals in Kano, Kaduna, Ogun, Lilypond and other terminals.
He said “If we can move 40,000 containers out of Apapa to less busy terminals, that is a huge step to trade facilitation because I would as well say I have my own target to meet, I have not met my target so why must I move containers to other area commands? Because when I give them, their target will increase and mine will not go as much as it should go.
“But that is not the case because the most important target is that which has been given to the Comptroller General of Customs. So, whatever duty we collect in any of the commands goes to that same account. Therefore, instead of working for the individual account, we are working for that one big account. There is so much I can do in a day and the rest will just be there, so, instead of keeping them, why not we move them to other ports? That is the reason for our moving these containers,” he said.
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