For the month of August, 2016, the Apapa Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated N34.9 Billion revenue, about N8 Billion higher than the N27 Billion realised in July.
According to the command, the collection is the highest monthly generated revenue/ collection made by any customs command in the country in the last ten years.
A remarkable feature of this is that it was made at a time the ports were said to be having low volume of trade and shipping companies reported to be leaving the country in the face of some trade restrictions and high exchange rate regime.
Customs Area Controller of the Command, Willy Egbudin,has persistently urged officers of the command to redouble their efforts in maximum revenue collection,speed in legitimate trade facilitation and uncompromising enforcement of all customs laws.
Egbudin had at a recent meeting with top officers of the command emphasised that national security must not be compromised at the port and terminals under it in the course of trade facilitation and revenue collection.
The recent increase is as a result of increased supervision, closer monitoring and regular outreach to importers and agents on the need to comply while issuing demand notices for infractions like under-declaration detected.
Aside regular meetings, the Controller has been paying surprise visits to various units and terminals under him to ensure that officers are at their duty posts during specified work hours and are keeping to the Controller General’s directives at all times.
”The Comptroller General’s directives are very clear on matters affecting our duties. We must not in anyway act outside the law or encourage people to do so.Importers and agents who violate the law will face the full wrath of it and I can assure you all that I will not spare any customs officer collaborator. Any attempt to shortchange the government under my watch here will not be treated with kid gloves” the Controller warned recently.
Egbudin added that ”Government’s focus is increasing on non oil revenue sources and we as customs officers with our stakeholders must brace up to this national reality. We must all add value in making Nigeria great from our various beats and assignments and posterity will be fair to us all”
Egbudin also advised officers not to relent in doing more for the Nigerian state as a way of justifying the confidence reposed on them by their deployment to the flagship command of Nigeria Customs.
Meanwhile, the command also made a seizure of 16 containers for false declaration thereby sending a strong signal to the port community that customs is focused on implementing all extant laws concerning its operations.
According to Customs Public Relations Officer, Apapa Command, Emmanuel Ekpa, investigations are ongoing over the seized containers and “arrests have been made in preparation for prosecution”