- Command rakes in unprecedented N65b in April
By Ray Ugochukwu
The Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in April seized seven containers of prohibited items including unregistered/illicit drugs and offensive export goods valued at N1.8 billion.
The command also harvested unprecedented revenue of N65.5 billion in the same month under review.
Giving a breakdown of the seizures on Thursday at the command was the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Malanta Ibrahim Yusuf, who disclosed that in all, seven containers of offensive goods were involved.
According to him, 4 x 40ft containers were laden with 674 cartons of tramadol tablets in 225mg and 120mg, with another 805 cartons of codeine syrup in 100ml. The containers, he disclosed, were discovered at the APM Terminals Apapa and Sifax 3 bonded terminal in Ijora, respectively.
In his words, “In line with the provision of extant laws, trade guidelines and enforcement of government fiscal policy measures, the command was able to further strengthen its anti-smuggling operations against economic saboteurs through credible intelligence-driven operations. This led to the seizure of 4 x 40ft containers laden with unregistered pharmaceuticals (674 cartons of tramado tablets in 225mg and 120mg, and805 cartons of codeine syrup in 100ml) at APMT and Sifax 3 bonded terminal respectively. These importations contravene sections 46 & 47 of Customs and Excise Management Act CAP C 45 LFN 2004”.
While conducting the press round the seized items in Ijora area of Lagos, he however absolved the terminal facility owners of any blame in the discovery of the offensive goods. He said they merely warehoused the goods without any knowledge of their contents just like the clearing agents who handled other logistics aspects of the items.
He said the facility owners could only be held liable when the containers in their custody were broached or vandalized.
“Members of the press, it is pertinent to note that these dangerous drugs pose serious threat to the health of the citizenry and economic well-being of the country. As such, the command is poised to tackle this menace head-on”, he had said.
Similarly, Comptroller Malanta informed that two containers of unprocessed wood and another with scrap copper were impounded by the command in the same period.
On the illicit export items, the Area Controller said, “Exportation of the above items (unprocessed wood and scrap copper) is in breach of Schedule 6 (items 4 & 6) of the Common External Tariff (CET)”.
Commenting on the huge revenue realized by the command, the CAC pointed out that it clearly showed an increase of N25.6 billion “when compared to the collection of the same month in the 2020, indicating a percentage increase in of 64 per cent. This unprecedented record has never been achieved in the history of Apapa Area Command”.
Malanta commended his officers and men for their resilience and commitment to duty, attributes he pointed out, made the feats possible.
“These unprecedented achievements were made possible because of our officers’ resilience and tireless commitment to their duties. Nonetheless, we have taken bold initiatives and steps to ensure the collection of appropriate revenue by creating an enabling environment for legitimate businesses to thrive”, he stated.
He commended the “Comptroller General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) and his management team for their continuous support and encouragement”.