Maritime Report

August 3, 2023

Apapa Customs rejigs operations, improves performance

VP, Shettima expresses confidence as naira strengthens further

By Eguono  Odjegba

The Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, collected a total of N502.99 billion in revenue between January and July 2023, in addition to recording 16 seizures with a combined Duty Paid Value of N1.4 billion.

The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Auwal Baba Mohammed, attributed the performance to increased compliance driven by improved system profiling, manifests tracking and commitment of the officers and men of the Service.

In a statement by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, CSC Abubakar Usman, Mohammed called on all port users to make compliance their watchword, noting that compliance alone can shield traders against risks, such as seizure, imposition of penalties and possible arrest and prosecution.

Giving a breakdown of its anti-smuggling activities, Usman said, “The seizures made within the period comprised of prohibited drugs, used tyres, rice, vegetable oil, and sundry items. It is noteworthy that the command made a seizure of two pistols inside one groupage cargo.  One suspect is arrested, and the matter is undergoing investigation.

“Under the CAC’s direct supervision, dedicated officers of the command are using the system profiling yardstick to gauge the integrity levels of importers and consignees. This has helped in treating traders in line with their previous transaction records, which is reassuring that compliance pays through time saving and cost efficiency.”

While admonishing all port users to remain complaint the Apapa Customs boss explained that non compliant traders spend more time and money paying for terminal space due to demurrage plus higher cost due to DN”s and penalties.

According to the statement Mohammed has continued to encourage the application of ICT as a major lever in electronic manifest tracking to achieve accelerated trade facilitation.

It says, “To ensure that his officers and men on the same page with him, Comptroller Mohammed during a recent monthly meeting charge officers on the maintenance of discipline as the foundation of good work etiquette, such as punctuality, diligent application of Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA) 2023 and other noble virtues that align with the law; stressing that the nation as well as the NCS looks up to the command with high expectations in terms of optimal collection of revenue.

“As we facilitate trade for compliant traders, let’s be wary of the possibility of releasing uncustom goods in error or in the guise of facilitating trade. I hereby charge you to do better in the second half of 2023 as the glory for the successes recorded in the first half belongs to all of us”.