Funso Olojo || The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has expressed concerns over massive exportation of prohibited items from the seaports.
This was disclosed by the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Apapa Command of the service, Compt Jibrin Muhammed.
The Controller also charged prospective exporters of made in Nigeria products and other raw materials to come to Apapa Command for their exports.
“We have intercepted and detained some export containers of scrap metals, wet blue (leather) and unprocessed wood which are under export prohibition in the extant laws.”
“Investigations are on-going and sanctions will be applied in line with extant laws. However, the seized pharmaceuticals will be handed over to National Agency for Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).”
Jibrin disclosed that he was ready to facilitate export trade considering the economic state and the Federal Government efforts at diversifying our economy through encouragement of exportation of agricultural products.
Also speaking on measures put in place to enforce the ease of doing business in the country, he said the command created a functional Customs examination centre to facilitate trade.
Jubrin said creating the examination centre was to implement the Federal Government’s directive on the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria.
“I want to use this medium to inform stakeholders that the Apapa Area Command has in line with the Federal Government’s directive on the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria initiative created a functional Customs Examination Centre within APMT.
‘’This serves as a coordinating centre for all stakeholders in cargo examination at the Apapa Port.”
“I have already held a meeting with all the critical agencies where we rubbed minds on the smooth operations of the centre and they have already keyed into the project.”
“The system will continue to be perfected as the project progresses with intention to reduce human contact as well as time spent on cargo clearance.”
… intercepts Indian hemp imported from Ghana
The Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) impounded 384 parcels of Indian Hemp allegedly imported from Ghana.
This was disclosed by the Customs Area Controller of the Unit, Compt. Mohammed Garba in Lagos.
Garba, who stated that the contraband was concealed in inside six bales of second-hand clothing, was intercepted along Iyana-Ipaja based on intelligence.
The CAC explained further that the Unit also recovered a Duty Paid Value of N607,717,533.55 from intercepted contraband and interventions on duty payment/demand notices on general goods that tried to beat the system from the airports, seaports and border stations.
The goods that were declared under the guise of false declaration, transfer of value and short-change of duty payment meant for the Federal Government of Nigeria within the month of April to June 12th, 2017
According to Controller Garba, “Ten suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures and a total of 152 different seizures were recorded comprising of vegetable oil, foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, smuggled vehicles, Indian hemp, used tyres, and various general merchandise.
He, however, disclosed that hemp will be handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), “In the spirit of inter-agency relationship, the suspect concerning the seized Indian hemp will be handed over to officials of the NDLEA for prosecution in a court of competent jurisdiction
“We also seized five containers based on information and after physical examination. This containers contravention Customs law by means of false declaration and breach of import prohibition list by trade.
“A breakdown of the five containers seized includes one 1x40ft container with number ACLU967372/1 containing 2,322 pieces of used tyres and two unit of used vehicles. Second 1x40ft container with number CMAU437648/0 containing 2,660 pieces of used tyres
“The third 1x40ft container with number CMAU717109/9 contains 170 cartons of piston ring compressor. The fourth 1x20ft container with number TGHU141216/5 contains 12 pallets of general calcium/vehicle batteries of 108 pieces per pallet.
“The fifth 1x40ft container with number TCLU753359/2 contains log of unprocessed rough wood ready for export.
“This act of false declaration falls under section 46 (f) of CEMA Cap C45 LFN 2004 which is tantamount to outright seizure.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank the management of the NCS under the leadership of Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) for his effort in recognising hard work and diligence to duty. Without the management motivation and necessary logistics support, we won’t have achieved this feat.”
Apapa Customs generates N136.3b in five months
The Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) claimed it made a revenue of N136.34billion from January to May 2017.
The revenue generated surpassed the revenue for the corresponding period of 2016, which stood at N98.17 billion, by N38.07 billion (38.78 percent).
The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Jibrin Muhammad said the command was able to surpass its revenue target for May 2017.
According to him, the officers and men of the command, having internalised this work ethic, were able to recover N1.82 billion from infractions identified and treated within the period under review, and will continue to intensify efforts at blocking all revenue leakages in order to sustain and build on the result.
Also, the command’s enforcement unit affected 24 detentions, including containers of frozen fish, medicaments and pharmaceuticals, among others, for offenses ranging from under-invoicing, wrong classification/declaration, prohibition, and underpayments, among others.
Equally intercepted and detained were “some export containers of scrap metals, wet blue (leather) and unprocessed wood, which fall under export prohibition,” adding that investigations were on-going but that the seized pharmaceuticals would be handed over to NAFDAC for necessary action.
Meanwhile, Jibrin called on prospective exporters of made-in-Nigeria products and other raw materials to come to the Apapa Command for their exports, stating that the command, more than ever before, was ready to facilitate export trade in view of government’s efforts at diversifying the economy through export of agricultural products.
Similarly, he disclosed that in line with government’s directive on ease of doing business, the command has created a functional Customs Examination Centre within the APM Terminal to “serve as a coordinating centre for all stakeholders in cargo examination at the Apapa Port,” adding that he had already met with critical agencies on the smooth operation of the centre.
Jibrin urged all stakeholders in import/export business to voluntarily comply with government’s fiscal policies through right and proper “documentations and other clearance procedures in order to have a seamless trade facilitation process in Apapa Port.”
However, the controller lamented the difficult environment in which they operate, characterized by the inherited old and “inadequate scanners,” and the bad port roads, which cause delay and untold hardship, which hinder the ease of doing business.
Nevertheless, he expressed hope that the command would soon get new scanners, while also encouraging the terminals to meet their side of the bargain in the provision of certain equipment as everyone operates in a cycle, with each operation affecting the progress or otherwise of the other, which calls for synergy.