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Customs worries over revenue collection on export, raked in N55bn in March

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Denies e-call up system failure

The Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has expressed worry that Nigerian exports may encounter some level of hiccups following the recent directive by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on outbound cargoes on dedicated terminals.

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Recall that the NPA, as part of efforts to improve access into, and service delivery at the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Port, had announced a 14-day suspension of export receipts at both ports and all satellite truck parks, with effect from Monday, March 22, 2021.

This development was necessitated by the need for consultations with export cargo stakeholders, and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) on the harmonisation of procedures required of owners of this category of cargo.

But the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta, noted that the period of the directive from the authority might have affected the revenue of export under the period under review.

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While reacting to the development during a visit to the command, Malanta said: “We have a problem with export and one of the problems is that export will now be diversified in the sense that, the authority is devising a very good method of having bonded terminals where export declaration will take place.

“All you need to do is take your consignment and move straight to the port and you know that export has been stopped for some time, unless essential goods, but I can’t get the figure recorded on export for now,” he said.

Meanwhile, the controller noted that a total of 28 containers falsely declared were intercepted in the last two months.

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Yusuf, who explained that the command might record over N55 billion as revenue for the month of March 2021, reiterated that despite the lull in international trade and commerce, the command had recorded the highest revenue collection in the history of Apapa Customs.

He also maintained that the anti-smuggling unit of the command had intensified efforts, adding that 28 containers laden with contrabands were impounded in the last two months.

Giving a vivid background on items intercepted, Comptroller Yusuf said tramadol, codeine, foreign parboiled rice, pharmaceutical products were among the commodities intercepted in the 28 containers.

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On the recent report that the command was frustrating e-call ups, he wondered how the command could alter an electronic system that was not in any way connected with its operations.

He believed that the accusers were either ignorant of the operations of the customs or just being mischievous.

He averred that the e-call up system had come to stay, noting that a new system would always have an initial teething problem, adding that patience and consistency would be required to achieve success with the system.

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