Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has stepped up its campaign to meet its revenue target for the year 2012, with more commands increasing the money collected monthly and paid into the federation account.
In line with the campaign, NCS, Apapa Area 1, which has Nigeria’s premier port, Apapa Container Terminal (ACT) under its jurisdiction, has generated a total sum of 139.151 billion in the first six months of the year.
The amount so far collected by the command showed an increase of N34.46 billion or 33 per cent compared to the amount collected under the same period last year.
A breakdown of the revenue figure showed that the command collected the sum of N57.9 billion in the first quarter, N19.7 billion in April, N24.6 billion in May and N36.7 billion in the month of June; amounting to N81.28 billion in the second quarter of the year.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC), NCS, Apapa Area 1 Command, Comptroller Yakubu Garko, who disclosed this at the command headquarters, Apapa said the command has fast-tracked the clearance procedures introduced by the Customs High Command.
He maintained that the management of the service has given the command the enabling environment to clear an average of 800 containers from the port on monthly basis.
“This platform has helped to reduce the cost of doing business at Apapa port, as importers and their clearing agents utilise of the platform to take delivery of their consignment as at when due, thereby reducing the rate of demurrage paid on cargoes due to long cargo dwell time (CDT) at ACT”, he said.
The CAC explained that the command was not able to meet its revenue target in the first quarter of this year due to the nationwide strike embarked upon in January by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and civil society groups over the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.
Garko revealed that the week-long strike action and street protest resulted to the loss of over N7 billion by the command.
He also disclosed that on export, a total of 452,355 metric tonnes of various commodities including cocoa beans, cashew nut, sesame seeds, ginger, hibiscus flower, processed rubber among other items, with a total market value of N83.122 billion, were exported through ACT in the last six months.
On seizures, he revealed that the command recorded about 18 seizures comprising batteries, used engines, deodorants, spare parts, electronics, furniture, and used cars, which have duty paid value (DPV) of N147, 641,067 million.
The Customs Chief warned dishonest importers and their agents to desist from circumventing the law, pointing out that those men and officers of the command will not allow such people to have their way.
While advising importers to make use of fast track, 24-hour port operation and online facilities to facilitate their cargo clearance, the CAC said efforts are on top gear to ensure that 48-hour cargo delivery is achieved in ACT.
Garko also revealed that no fewer than 1,000 officers of the command were promoted from one level to the other.
In his charge to the newly promoted officers shortly after their formal decoration, he said they should see their elevation as a call for dedication to duty. According to him, this is the only way they can tell the management of NCS that their promotion was not misplaced.