In a commendable display of fiscal prowess, the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) showcased exceptional achievements in revenue collection and anti-smuggling efforts during the year 2023. Despite a decline in trade volume, the command collected a staggering ₦1,172,414,793,960.32, surpassing the previous year’s revenue by over ₦149.8 billion.
The Area Controller, Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba, revealed these remarkable figures, emphasizing that the 2023 collection marked a 14.6% increase compared to the ₦1,022,530,523,699.40 recorded in 2022. Under Comptroller Jaiyeoba’s vigilant watch, the command achieved a historic daily collection of ₦11.3 billion on November 22, 2023, setting a new record for the Nigeria Customs Service.
The command also witnessed its highest monthly revenue collection in October 2023, reaching ₦145 billion. Notably, in the realm of anti-smuggling operations, fifty-four seizures were made, amounting to ₦22,847,295,900.00 Duty Paid Value. These seizures resulted from various infractions, including contravention of import/export prohibition lists, false declaration, and unlawful concealment.
The seized items encompassed prohibited goods such as used clothing, foreign parboiled rice, vegetable oil, and tomato paste. Compt. Jaiyeola issued a stern warning to smugglers and traders engaging in illegal activities, emphasizing that Apapa Port is off-limits, and any attempt to challenge their resolve would be met with stringent measures, including seizure, arrest, and prosecution.
Comptroller Jaiyeoba highlighted the collaborative efforts with government agencies, ensuring the safety of Apapa Port. He stressed the importance of continuous education for stakeholders on compliance, maintaining an open-door policy for dispute resolution, queries, and amendments.
Expressing gratitude to the Customs leadership and acknowledging the efforts of officers, stakeholders, and the media, Comptroller Jaiyeoba reiterated the commitment to achieving a 48-hour cargo clearance timeline. He urged all players in the port system to contribute towards this goal and emphasized the significance of integrity in trade activities.
As the command looks forward to the new year, Comptroller Jaiyeoba called upon port users to make sincere declarations, stay informed about import/export regulations, and ensure prompt customs duty payments. The Area Controller expressed confidence that, with collective efforts, the command will continue to make significant strides in revenue collection and maintaining Apapa Port’s exemplary status within Nigeria and the West African subregion.