The Controller in charge of Apapa Area One command, Nigeria Customs Service, Mr Akin Adewuyi(a Comptroller) has explained that the twin factors of drop in cargo throughput due to the economic melt down and importers inability to source for funds to finance maritime trade due to the current bank reforms are largely accountable for the command’s inability to meet its 2009 revenue target of =N=244Billion.
According to him, last year was not a particularly good year for global shipping as even some of the major carriers that normally ship cargoes to Nigeria reported sharp drop in their operations in the year.
The Customs boss told reporters in Lagos recently that, notwithstanding the down- turn, the command still collected =N=152.57 billion between January and November 2009; an increase of about =N=35.87billion over the =N=116.70billion it collected at the corresponding period in 2008. He however added that the revenue figures for December 2009 were yet to be computed and added.
Giving an insight into the total revenue target for the Nigeria Customs in 2009, Mr Akinade explained that the target for 2009 was =N=650Billion, out of which his command was expected to collect =N=244Billion.
On anti-smuggling activities, he disclosed that the command recorded seizure of 36containers comprising of 12 (40ft) containers and 24 (20ft) containers and added that the total value of the containers seized is =N=175,085,209.00, the total duty for the containers is =N=45,431,922.40, while the duty paid value (DPV) is =N=220,517,131.40.
According to him, some of the items seized include: furniture, vegetable oil, used clothing; other items are used vehicles, steel doors which are not prohibited but were seized because the agents in charge of these items attempted to clear them with fake documents.
On the seizure of a 40ft container declared as personal effects but which on examination was discovered to contain used personal effects, 5,249 rounds of live ammunition and other accessories, the Comptroller disclosed that investigation into the matter was carried out by the office of the National Security Adviser, while the ammunition and other accessories are being handed over to the Nigerian police.