By Ebenezer William Etete
With a drive toward fulfilling its mandate which is to generate revenue for the country Apapa Customs Command has surpassed its record by 42.5%. This disclosure was made by Comptroller Malanta Yusuf, the controller of Apapa Area Command while addressing newsmen in this year’s half-annual review of Customs operation which spans from January to June.
Comptroller Yusuf stated that the Command generated a revenue worth 522.4 Billion naira as against 366.5 Billion naira in the corresponding months of the year 2021. In his words the effort of the command is to; generate revenue, prevent and supress smuggling, facilitate trade, implement government fiscal policies and interface with other government agencies to actualise easy trade at the ports.
Stressing the Commands achievement in export, Yusuf said that in the actualisation of the government policy of non-oil export rose from five hundred and forty thousand metric tonnes in 2021 to two million five hundred thousand metric tonnes this year.
Speaking on the Free On Board (FOB) value for the exported items which include steel bars, agricultural and mineral produce among many more, he said that these items rose from 1.6 million USD in 2021 to 138 million USD in 2022.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government policy and export incentive schemes have played vital roles in boosting export trade in Nigeria.
Guided by the Federal Government Import and Export prohibition list which corresponds with other government fiscal policies the Command’s Anti-Smuggling Operations seized 83 containers with a Duty Paid Value of 8.3 Billion Naira. Contents of the seized containers include: processed/unprocessed woods, unregistered pharmaceuticals, used clothes and shoes, foreign parboiled rice, vegetable oil, tomato paste and tramadol with other Illicite drugs.
In relation to these seizures, the Comptroller stated that 21 suspects have been arrested and are currently undergoing interrogation and investigation. One other outstanding case is that of a suspected smuggler who tried to bring in a 20ft container of tramadol but was intercepted by men of the Apapa Command and has since been remanded in police custody.
In his closing remarks Comptroller Yusuf was full of appreciation for the Controller General of Customs, other government agencies and all port stakeholders for their cooperation so far with a wish that such collaboration will get stronger by the day.