How Customs Generated N227.3bn in 6 months

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Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Apapa Command generated the sum of N227.3 billion in the first half of the year, the Customs Area Controller, Mohammed Abba-Kura said on Thursday.

Abba-Kura told newsmen in Lagos that the command had been able to achieve the feat in spite of the challenges during the period.

He said that secondary layers of checks and balances contributed immensely in recovering lost revenues that escaped the first layer in one way or the other.

“In spite of all challenges, the Apapa Area Command has maintained its tempo at ensuring that maximum revenue is collected in addition to trade facilitation and suppression of smuggling.

“There has been steady improvement in revenue collection all through the half year except for the month of May which recorded a decline of about 3.531 billion, when compared between year 2019 and 2020.

“The command in half year of 2019 collected a total sum of N203.264 billion as customs duty and other charges like seven per cent surcharge, Value Added Tax, one per cent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) among others.

“From January to June this year, the command collected a huge sum of N227,347,046,233.53, which represents an increase of N24,082,991,550.84 or 10.59 per cent increase from the previous year,” he said.

Abba-Kura said that the command also seized 142 containers of various items.

He said the seizures were related to smuggling and pursuant to section 46 and 48 of the Customs and Exercise Management Act (CEMA), which deal with offences in relations to import and export, in other words forfeiture of goods improperly imported.

The area controller listed the items as one Rolls Royce 2018 and one Lamborghini Hurricane sport car 2019 model with a Duty Paid Value of N324.530 million.

Others are: 64 containers of pharmaceuticals, 32 containers of rice, 7 containers of used clothes and shoes, 25 containers of vegetable oil, 3 vehicles, 2 containers of packaging materials and 2 containers of detergents.

Also seized were candy milk, used tyres, cigarette filter, rugs and textile materials which all were in one container each, with all items having a DPV of N15,904,954,220.

He urged stakeholders, importers, exporters and their agents to always follow and observe the laid down import and export guidelines and procedures.

The official urged them to make sincere declaration in order to avoid their consignment being forfeited to government.

“In addition to seizing these goods, we have equally invoked the provisions of section 167 of CEMA which deals with detention, seizure and condemnation of goods.

“All these seized items have been condemned by a court of competent jurisdiction – Federal High Court and have now become the properties of Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.

Abba-Kura pointed out that in the area of export trade, goods worth N52,369,506,770.90 – Free on Board Value- had been exported from Nigeria.

He listed such goods as agricultural products, mineral resources and steel bars, among others.

The area controller said that tonnage of the goods stood at 1.642 million tonnes, with FOB value in American dollars of $171,142,178.99.

He said that they were ever ready to push out export products and encourage legitimate trade as long as due process was followed.

Abba-Kura also urged exporters to explore other means like the barges to help bring in their products.

He said that the advent of COVID-19 pandemic had brought some setback for the command as the capacity building it had embarked upon was stalled, but it would resume when things get better.

“From inception of the pandemic, management of customs sent down doctors to educate them on safety, procure sanitisers for them and also they got personal protective equipment from some stakeholders in the industry.

“Ten of our men in Apapa command got infected with COVID-19 and were sent to the isolation centre and as at today, they are all well now and we appreciate the Lagos State government and doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital for their help,” he said.

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