By Jimoh Babatunde
Murtala Muhammed International Airport Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, MMAC, has announced a significant increase in its revenue in the last three months.
Area Controller of the Command, Mr. Eporwei Edike, said the command generated about N3.1 billion in March and that from what they had generated in the first week of April that they are looking forward to exceeding the target of the command at the end of this year.
Edike who resumed in February at the command explained that the policy of persuasion and compliance that the command has employed is responsible for the growth in the revenue being experience in the last two months.
Speaking while he received the leadership of the Lagos State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in his office, Edike said “we are working on compliance as we are using persuasion and not force to get the target.”
He noted that the command has been able to make people know that they are working for them, adding that no official is allowed to keep paper for more than 10 minutes without treating it, “except the agent says let me consult with my clients if there are faults seen on the document and the agent cannot provide answer.
“This latest method has eliminated the crowd at the cargo shed of the airport and also boosted the organisation’s revenue.”
The Customs Area Controller said with the agents well treated that they will be happy to comply with the laid down rules on payment as the command makes sure nobody is made to pay more than expected.
This he said has also impacted positively on the revenue of the command since he resumed, “Our turnover is far, far more than that of last year at the same period. We make it our duty to ease the pains of people. We gave a lot of attention in not delaying goods.”
The CAC also disclosed how his organisation seized explosives smuggled into the country through the airport and ensnared the owner who lived in Kaduna to come to clear the goods in Lagos and when he arrived he was quickly handed over to concerned authorities for prosecution.
“We seized these explosives, the importer was in Kaduna and we used intelligence to bring him here and handed him over to the police,” he added.
Speaking on touting at the airport, the CAC explained that there is little they can do about it as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) allows them into the airports, but quickly added that they are in control of it. “We will try as much as possible to manage them(touts) within what the laws allowed.”
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Lagos NUJ, Deji Elumoye thanked the CAC for the supports he has given to journalists since he resumed at the command.