The Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has generated N676 billion as revenue for the federal government between January and August.
The assistant comptroller general of customs, Auwal Mohammed, said this while handing over to Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba, the newly deployed Customs Area Controller in Lagos.
Mr Mohammed also urged officers of the command to rededicate themselves to service and surpass government expectations of them for revenue collection, prevention of smuggling and trade facilitation.
He applauded them for the feats they achieved together when he was the area controller.
“Teamwork, diligence and zero compromise assisted in several revenue and other operational successes that the command recorded under my watch.
“Apapa command collected its highest monthly and daily revenue in August 2023.
“A total of N136 billion was collected as monthly revenue in August while N10 billion was collected on Aug. 3, being the highest monthly and daily collections in the history of the Nigeria Customs Service,” he said.
Mr Mohammed, who had assumed office at the customs headquarters as ACG Technical Services, urged the officers to continually prevent smuggling or importation of prohibited items.
According to him, the port is critical to the economy and national security, and so import and export prohibition lists should be adhered to at all times.
He listed some of the seizures made within eight months to include N21.6 billion worth of tramadol packed in 720 cartons, containing 143.8 million units of 225-milligram tablets and weighing 10.3 tonnes.
Also, he said there was a handover of another 20 cartons of illicit drugs valued at N1.4 billion to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
He commended his officers’ vigilance for uncovering and seizing two pistols hidden inside a groupage container.
He advised importers and their agents to keep abreast with federal government guidelines on items that require end-user certificates to ensure compliance and due diligence before embarking on importation.
On the use of technology for trade facilitation, Mohammed said Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS ll) depend on true and proper declaration to work well, adding that acts like false declaration accounts for most delays traders go through in the port.
The former Apapa Customs Controller said deployment of scanners had improved operations at the port as an average of 120 containers are scanned daily as against 50 hitherto that were being examined at the earlier stage
He reminded the officers that the federal government had high expectations of them as the NCS was strategic to non-oil revenue drive by government and national economic sustenance.
He urged exporters to take advantage of the Domestic Export Warehouse (DEW) and other initiatives by government that allow cargoes to seamlessly access the port and be loaded into vessels without going through multiple checks and reopening of containers
The new Area Controller of Apapa, Mr Jaiyeoba, solicited the cooperation and support of all port users and promised to operate an open door policy in ensuring that all trade disputes are resolved in record time.
He appreciated the Acting Controller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, for the task and assured to build on the achievements of his predecessor in the area of revenue, trade facilitation, anti-smuggling and promotion of customs community relations.