Nigeria’s revenue base, on Friday, received a massive boost as the Apapa Area 1 Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), says it collected N81.74 billion in the first quarter of 2018, as against N77.43 billion it collected in 2017 under the same period.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs Nkeiruka Nwala, made this known in a statement in Lagos on Friday.
According to Mrs. Nwala, the command is optimistic that the roll-out of the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System II (NICIS II) in Apapa will block all revenue leakages.
She said with the ongoing repair of roads in the Apapa axis, the command would build on its revenue profile in the months ahead.
“On anti-smuggling, the command in the first quarter recorded four seizures of 4 x 40 ft containers of controlled drugs including tramadol in excess of the approved milligrams.
“The Duty Paid Value on these 4 × 40 ft containers is put at N110.01 million.
“The Command in the first quarter of 2018 recorded a total of about 280,000 tonnes of various exports with a total Free On Board (FOB) value of 115.09 million dollars,’’ she said.
According to her, the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Jibril Musa, has reinvigorated all strategies and mechanisms put in place for the effective implementation of the Federal Government’s Executive order on the Ease of Doing Business.
She said the NCS was the lead Agency in the implementation of the Presidential Mandate, adding that the Apapa Area Command was selected as the Pilot Command.
Mrs. Nwala added that the Command had since created the Central Examination Centre (CEC) where all stakeholders involved in cargo clearance conduct examination at an agreed time with reports imputed almost immediately.
“This synergy/interfacing had paid off remarkably as consignments with no record of infractions are released within 24 hours, while those with infractions are referred to dispute resolutions committee for further interventions/investigations.
“The area controller has pledged to keep strengthening the already robust working relationship and collaboration among all agencies of government for enhanced international trade facilitation.
“Within the period under review, the controller played host to different high-level government delegations from within and outside the country with a view to promoting efficiency and facilitation of trade in the country,” Mrs. Nwala said.
She said those received by the Controller thus far were the Senate Committee on Customs led by its Chairman, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, and a delegation from Japanese Customs led by the Japan Ambassador to Nigeria.
The others are: the National Committee on Trade Facilitation led by its Chairman, Mr A. M. Abubakar, NAFDAC Director in charge of Ports Inspection, Prof. S. B. Adebayo among others.
“The purpose for these visits was to cement the already existing working relationship and to seek possible ways of improving speedy cargo clearance.
“However, one message from these visitations from the area controller was that Nigeria is the only country we have,” Nwala said.
According to her, the controller urged importers to make honest declarations in order to achieve timely clearance and release of their cargoes.
She however appealed to all stakeholders and the general public to cooperate with the Nigerian Custom Service always by ensuring total compliance with extant laws and regulations.
Nwala noted that compliance would in the long run improve Nigeria’s rating in the global trade indices for a seamless and speedy cargo clearance.