A sum of N25.9 billion was recorded as revenue by the Apapa Command of
the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) from all its activities at the
Premiere Port in Lagos last month despite the ongoing economic
recession which has drastically reduced the volume of goods shipped
into Nigeria in recent times.
The figure represents an increase of about 10.2 percent or 2.4 billion
when compared to the N23.5 billion the command collected in the
corresponding period of 2016.
The Controller of the Command, Comptroller Musa Jibrin disclosed the
figures at a stakeholders meeting the Command organized in Apapa,
yesterday saying that the feat was due to the cooperation with his
management of the officers , the agents, importers and other
operators at the Port .
However, when Marine and Economy had an interview with the Controller
immediately after the function on how the Command was able to record
the increase in revenue despite the fall in the volume of goods that
are being shipped into the Apapa Port , he said that the
accomplishment was due to the fresh  effective revenue collection
machinery put in place at the Command
He disclosed that, the fact that all the officers have been given
additional training and advised to be more patriotic and ensure that
they collect the right duty on all imports  made them to be more
devoted to their job  adding that  the debt recovery drive embarked
upon by the Command also impacted positively on the revenue generated.
This is just as the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA)
Project Manager at the Command, Deputy Comptroller Muhammed Gaya  also
counseled the customs officers and other stakeholders operating at the
Apapa Command and the Port  on the need to ensure that they all
perform their duties as enshrined in the Customs and Excise Management
(CEMA)  Act  to enhance the Command’s revenue level.
According to him , if customs officers, agents, terminal operators,
shipping companies  among others discharge their roles  as dictated by
the law, trade will be facilitated , while the  bottlenecks and the
delay in the clearing of goods that the port and the command has been
witnessing will reduce drastically.
The APM corroborated the Controller to the effect the Customs has
upgraded its ASYCUDA system overtime from 2.3 to 2.7 to  plu plus  and
moving towards a paperless regime  and eventually the Single  Window,
but pointed out that the officers  would need to better appreciate and
make better use of the efforts of the Service in this direction  to
enhance its development.
He also educated the customs agents telling them  that it is not their
business to be completing form M or the PAAR  for their importers
when the latter should be the ones doing this by themselves , since
only  themselves know the goods for which they have ordered , adding
that the job of the agents should be to clear the cargoes and not
performing the shipper’s role , if they must avoid problems.
Gaya said that the terminal operators have the responsibility to
accept the cargoes, stack them , provide the equipment to position
them for examination when the customs is ready to  conduct 100 per
cent examination on them with the agents and the relevant security
agents in attendance.
The  APM also impressed it on the representatives of the shipping
companies that it is the duty of the carrier as stipulated in the CEMA
to know what they are carrying  warning that it is legal and lawful
for shippjng forms to be arrested and prosecuted for conveying
prohibited and illegal goods which are detrimental to the economy of
Nigetia and its citizens.
The Controller had earlier admonished the customs officers and other
stakeholders to be more patriotic in their activities , do the right
thing always while he advised importers and the  agents to ensure that
they pay the correct revenue on their goods and restrain from getting
involved in fraudulent ways like under declaration. , underpayment,
concealment among others.
He advised that all hands should be on deck to assist the Customs to
increase its revenue collection, saying that the federal Government
expects the Service to meet  its target and collect more money for it
to enable it enhance its provision of social amenities and execute
more projects that would be of benefit to the citizenry.

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