CAC Auwal Mohammed making his speech at the press briefing this morning.
Story by Dili Utomi.
In continuation of the special role of the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service as the Command of the premier Port and the strategic importance of the area, the Command which recently saw a change of guard in January is steadfastly and persistently continuing to perform its statutory obligations.
The Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed in a press briefing this morning revealed specific performances of the Command over the past three months.
CAC Mohammed said “Our functions of revenue generation and collection, suppression of legitimate trade have been consistently. While I am meeting with various stakeholders and partner government agencies to ensure the tempo of compliance is sustained and improved upon, the command stood forthright in foiling attempts at smuggling prohibited
items into and out of the country”.
Some of the seized rice a container.
It is worthy of note to state that the command recorded a total collection of two hundred and twelve
billion, five hundred and ninety-two million, six hundred and eighty thousand, seven hundred naira, ninety-nine kobo (N212,592,680,700.99) covering January-March 2023.
The command also processed agricultural goods such as sesame
seeds, ginger, hibiscus, mineral resources, steel ingot and others with a total
tonnage of 110,448 metric tonnes in the first quarter of 2023. Statistics from the export report shows that the exported goods are worth seventy billion, two hundred million, eight hundred and twenty-nine thousand, three hundred and fifty-eight naira, sixty-seven kobo (N70,200,829,358.67) which is equivalent to Free on Board (FOB) value of $159,845,232.84 for export over the period.
Also, in the area of anti-smuggling activities and within the period under review, the command made seizures of fourteen (14) containers comprising of prohibited items such as vegetable oil, footwears, used clothing, unprocessed wood, and tramadol tablets with a Duty Paid Value of twenty-two billion, ninety-nine million, six hundred and eighteen thousand, one hundred and eleven naira (N22,099,618,111.00).
In collaboration with sister agencies, a large quantity of 225mg of tramadol tablets concealed in 2x40ft container numbers TRHU 4758549 and TRHU 6936803 where one hundred and forty-three million, eight hundred thousand (143,800,000) tablets of Tramadol 225mg were discovered in 720 cartons weighing 10.3 tonnes (10,386kg) that originated from India. This single seizure is valued at twenty-one billion, six hundred million naira (N21,600,000,000.00).
CAC Mohammed added that “We are on the look-out for those behind such unlawful importation for arrest and very soon we will track them down to face the full wrath of the law. As a service, we owe Nigerians the duty to prevent this kind of importation from
entering the market to safeguard the health of the citizenry”.
The CAC said that he has been meeting with various stakeholder groups comprising importers, exporters, licensed agents, freight forwarders, and others and that he is happy to note that these meetings are yielding good results and will be sustained in days ahead.
He reiterated that “We have a deliberate culture of inter-agency collaboration with other government organisations. Within this first three months, I have
enjoyed robust sharing of credible intelligence and support from other agencies of government”.
CAC Mohammed also took the pressmen round the APM Terminal where the seized items were located and used the opportunity to warn importers to follow the laid down procedures as enshrined within the import prohibition laws as well as exporters to obey the export prohibition laws in order to help in facilitating legitimate trade for the country. He noted that a number of persons have been arrested, but handed over to the police for proper legal processing and prosecution . He added that there are some levels of international collaboration which help in detecting some of these illicit items.
CAC Mohammed praises the support of the CGC of Customs, the media and the general public who continue to give credible information to the Service.
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