The Apapa Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service said its Export Unit has recorded a great boost in the first quarter of year 2020.
The increase is compared with a total of 51,601 metric tonnes of export in first quarter of 2019 to 183,578 metric tonnes in the same period of 2020.
According to a press statement made available by the command image maker, DSC Nwala, the Free on Board (FOB) value for the export in first quarter 2019 was five million, two hundred and two thousand five hundred and sixty-seven ($ 5,202,567.00) US Dollars which was equivalent to one billion, five hundred and ninety-one million, nine hundred and eighty-five thousand five hundred and two naira (#1,591,986,502.00).
Meanwhile the value grew to seventy two million four hundred and forty two thousand, three hundred and ninety four ($72,442,394.00) US Dollars which is equivalent to twenty two billion, one hundred and sixty seven million, three hundred and seventy two thousand five hundred and sixty- four (# 22,167,372,564.00) naira only.
The statement disclosed that this boost in exports was notable in Agriculture, Mineral Resources and Steel Bars among others.
In the area of anti-Smuggling, it states that the Command recorded an appreciable increase in its drive against smuggling activities which leads to the seizure of 80 containers and 4 vehicles that contravened some of the provisions of extant laws as enshrined in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45 LFN, 2004 as amended.
The seized Items were listed to include Rice, Used Clothes, Unregistered Drugs and Vegetable oil. Other seized items include one exotic Rolls Royce car that was valued at over one hundred million naira with the Combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of about 12 billion naira.
The number of seizures in the Command for the first quarter is said to be almost equal the entire seizures of 2019 in terms of Duty Paid Value which stood at 12.5 billion naira.
Despite the global challenges and slow economic activities, the Command was able to generate over N110.2 billion in the same period under review.
According to the Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Mohammed Abba-Kura, “The officers at Apapa Command are working tirelessly on their duty posts, notwithstanding the outbreak of coronavirus which is causing so much panic globally.
“The year 2020 is surrounded with lots of challenges globally. Nigeria is not isolated from these challenges, as critical sectors of the economy are adversely affected.
“However, to us in Nigeria Customs Service, and in particular, the Apapa Area Command we remain resolute at ensuring that we collect the much needed revenue for the Federal Government. Also to ensure safety and well being of the citizenry by curtailing smuggling to its barest minimum, while facilitating legitimate import and export trades.
“This huge increase in revenue collection was a product of so many factors including strict application of import guidelines, increased level of compliance by stakeholders and our openness to address all complaints from the part of importers promptly amongst other measures ” he said.
The Command boss however remind the stakeholders that in line with the Presidential directives, the Apapa Port remains open and officers are on ground discharging their duties of collecting revenue and securing the nation sea ports against influx of prohibited goods, hence, importers should use this opportunity and evacuate their consignments before normal activities resumes.