By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
A total sum of N518, 046,832,016.84 billion Naira was generated by the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in 2020, the Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Mohammed Abba-Kura has disclosed.
The revenue generated between January and December of the year, according to the controller has been remitted to the federation and non-federation account of the federal government.
Abba-Kura, who made the disclosure during a press briefing in Lagos on Tuesday noted that the revenue profile of the command has significantly increased by N94,379,835,352.53 billion, a 22.3 percent rise from the N423.6 billion it made in 2019.
He hinted that the command made 318 seizures with Duty Paid Value (DVP) of N21, 196,806,637.00 billion, tripling the total seizures of 2019, which stood at 112, with a total DPV of N12.5 billion.
Some of the seized items include; 133 containers of unregistered pharmaceuticals including Tramadol, 58 containers of parboiled rice, 30 containers of vegetable oil, 31 containers of used clothes and shoes, 13 containers of used tyres, and other sundry items.
“In line with the provision of extant circulars; trade guidelines, and enforcement of government fiscal policy measures, the Command was able to further strenghten its anti-smuggling operations against economic saboteurs, through credible intelligence driven operations and continuous partnership with other relevant agencies”, he said.
He further revealed that the export unit also witnessed a boost, rising from 262,095 metric tons in 2019, to 1,311,365 metric tons in 2020, with the Free on Board (FOB) value for the items equally moving up from 132,760,512.94 million US Dollars to 340,884,102.99 million USD, within the period under review.
He explained, that the Naira equivalent of the exported items is estimated at N104, 310,535,514.00 billion, at 306 per US Dollar, from exported items such as; steel bars, agricultural and mineral products, among others.
“It is instructive to note that these unprecedented achievements were made possible as a result of our officers’ doggedness and tireless commitment to their duties, despite the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging economies all over the world.
“As we look forward to a prosperous and glorious year ahead, the command has taken bold initiatives to ensure the collection of appropriate revenue, by creating an enabling environment for legitimate businesses to thrive”, CAC Abba-Kura added.
Asked if there were arrests made along with the seizures, the CAC said that they did, but because it is a bailable offence, offenders can be allowed to go temporarily as investigation continues, adding that the headquarters takes over the matter once it is reported.
He appreciated the Comptroller-General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), stakeholders in the clearance value chain, relevant government agencies and the media for their support, reiterating the need for their cooperation in order to move the Command and the service forward.