Customs Area Controller, Apapa Area command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Charles Edike has said that the policy of transferring containers from Apapa port to other bonded terminals was to facilitate trade.
Edike who stated this in Lagos recently said despite the fact that the command has the highest revenue target in the various customs formation, his target is not more important than the national target pointing out that it does not matter where the duty is collected since the money goes into the central coffers of the Nigeria Customs Service.
“You know that individual commands got targets but my target is not more important than the national target. My target is just one of the many and so even if I collect everything and others did not collect, the national target will still not be met and there is so much that I can handle here in a day that after handling the one I can handle; must I leave the rest here?
“There is just one Customs Comptroller General and there is just one Customs account. It does not matter where the duty is collected. Whether it is collected in Tin Can, Apapa or Port Harcourt, it is going to the same account,” he said.
He said when containers are transferred to less busy and idle bonded terminals, the time and cost of doing business in the port will be reduced. Transfer of containers to off dock terminals, he said, will also reduce pressure from the importer and his agent.
“It is better for us, better for the importer, better for the agent because there is no more tension and pressure. Of course, you know that once an importer has a container inside the port, he will not have rest of mind until his container is out and such tension can also turn to something else. It can turn to hypertension, it can kill and so it means we are also saving lives, cost of doing business in the ports and of course at the end of the day, more revenue for the service and the country. And so we are pursuing it. We know we have our targets but our targets are not as important as the national target,” he stated.