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Apapa Customs: Hub for trade facilitation

Eyewitness Reporter
The Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service is unarguably the biggest revenue basket of the service.
The command accounts for over 60 percent of the annual revenue profile of the government agency.
Despite being the biggest and flagship command, the Apapa Customs earns its reputation due to the existence of a friendly business environment which facilitates trade.
In recent years, despite few challenges, the command has been a hotbed for fast clearance of goods which has made it a paradise for importers and their agents.
It is instructive to note that trade facilitation is one of the core functions of the Nigeria Customs, apart from its traditional roles of revenue generation and anti-smuggling.
Although,  most commands of the service have laid much emphasis on revenue generation and anti-smuggling, the Apapa Command, in recent times, has taken trade facilitation a notch higher to drive revenue generation.
And the strategy has worked.
The belief of the incumbent Area Comptroller of the command, Comptroller Yusuf Ibrahim Malanta, is that trade facilitation drives revenue generation.
As a result, he has effectively deployed the instrument of trade facilitation to record phenomenal growth in revenue generation.
No wonder the command, in April, against all odds, ramped up its revenue profile when it recorded the sum of N65.4billion in a single month, a feat which was unprecedented in the history of the oldest command in customs.
At the command, the CAC and his management team do not however compromise compliance with the extant rules which govern cargo clearance.
As a matter of fact, Comptroller Malanta does not hide his passion for compliance, hence his creation of a special unit called compliance unit to drive the trade compliance process.
According to him, compliance engenders trade facilitation, and trade facilitation drives revenue generation.
Malanta preaches the gospel of compliance to the trading public through his constant engagement with stakeholders.
Using the instrumentality of constant stakeholders engagement, Malanta has been able to ingrain the value and ideal of compliance in the subconsciousness of traders who ply their trade at the Apapa command.
This symbiotic relationship between the command and its teeming trading public, built on mutual respect and understanding, has greatly enhanced trade facilitation and revenue generation.
However, for the unrepentant non-compliant traders whom Malanta regarded as his enemies, they often get punished for their recalcitrance through seizures.
Malanta has even advised those who are aversed to trade compliance to steer clear of Apapa Command because of the unsavoury consequences.
For those of them who refused to heed the warning, they are exposed to great losses through constant seizures by the eagle-eyed officers.
Conversely, the compliant traders have continued to enjoy the dividends of obedience to the extant rules through efficient service delivery in terms of fast and seamless cargo clearance.
The philosophy of the management of Apapa port is that the more compliant you are with the extant rules and guidelines governing goods clearance, the faster your cargo will be exited from the command.
For the traders who conform to this philosophy, Apapa port is a safe haven for plying their trade.
But for those who are unrepentant violators of this philosophy, Apapa port is a dangerous ground for them to transact their illicit trade.
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Exclusive! Mass retirement hits Customs as 549 officers bow out of service in 2023

CGC, Ali


Break down; DCG( I), ACG (6),Comptrollers(30), DC(68) AC (110),CSC(133),SC (52),DSC(79) ,ASC1(58) ,ASC11(11),CA1(1)

Eyewitness reporter

A whirlwind  of retirement has hit the Nigeria Customs Service as 549 officers of different cadres have been penciled down for statutory retirement in 2023,

In a circular no HRD/2022/13 sighted by our reporter, the breakdown of the affected officers shows that 1 DCG, 6 ACG, 30 Comptrollers, 68 Deputy Comptrollers, 110 Assistant Comptrollers, 133 Chief Superintendent of Customs, 52 Superintendent of Customs, 79 Deputy Superintendents, 58 Assistant Superintendent of Customs1, 11 Assistant Superintendent of CustomsII and 1 Customs AssistantI, were due for retirement in 2023.

According to the circular dated May 10th, 2022 with reference number NCS/ADM/EST/098/S.1 and signed by OM Agbara, Comptroller of Establishment for AG. Deputy Comptroller-General (HDR), the affected officers, who are being shipped out of the service on account of age or number of years in the service, are advised to proceed on three months pre-retirement leave, three months to the effective date of their retirement.

The circular titled list of Officers/men for statutory retirement in the year 2023” reads

”I am directed to forward the attached list on the above subject matter as pre-retirement notice to all affected officers.
” ln accordance with the Public service Rule (PSR) No. 100238 and Federal Government circular No.63216/S.i/X/T; CR 1,/2OO1/5 of 2O/O3/2OOl, all affected officers due for retirement in 2023 are to disengage from the active service and proceed on three (3)months pre-retirement leave, three months to the effective date of retirement.
” AII affected officers are to ensure compliance and forward their three months pre-retirement notice to the Comptroller-General
” Any observed error, omission, or legitimate complaints should be forwarded to the office of the Comptroller General of Customs through the Ag. Deputy Comptroller-General (HRD) on or before 30th June 2022.
” Zonal Coordinators, Area Controllers, and Unit Heads are requested to make the list available for circulation to all the affected officers in their respective Zones, Areas, and Units
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Customs High Command interdicts officers over assault on Gov. Okonwa’s aide

Eyewitness reporter
The management of the Nigeria Customs Service has reacted to the viral video where a member of the roving team of the FOU Zone ‘C’ assaulted an unarmed civilian.
In the press statement signed by Timi Bomodi, the National Public Relations Officer of the service, the Customs High Command expressed outrage over the conduct of its officer and said the offending officer and other members of his team have been withdrawn from their patrol duties and placed under administrative investigation.
“The attention of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a video making the rounds on social media.
“In it, one of our officers was recorded assaulting an unarmed civilian.
“This action took place on the Benin – Agbor expressway on Saturday the 7th of May 2022 at about 5.00 pm.
“This officer and other members of that team from FOU Zone ‘C’ have since been withdrawn from patrol duties and are currently under administrative investigation at the NCS Zonal Headquarters Zone ‘C’ Port Harcourt.
“Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service have been trained to carry out their duties with dignity and respect, and are expected to display decorum in all their conduct at all times.
“Where they fail to carry out their brief as assigned, appropriate sanctions are applied to enforce discipline.
” The NCS would like to reassure the general public of its commitment to the welfare and safety of all citizens and frowns seriously at any act by its personnel capable of misrepresenting its corporate image.
“We ask that all law-abiding persons go about their activities without fear of intimidation or harassment as we work assiduously to bring closure to this unwholesome incident” the statement concluded.
In the viral video which has sparked public outrage, a Customs Officer attached to the roving team of the Custom’s FOU Zone C, was seen slapping a civilian identified as Samson Nwachukwu,  an aide to the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okonwa, along Benin/ Agbor expressway Saturday, May 7th, 2022.
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Drama as Customs officer slaps Gov Okowa’s aide along Benin/Agbor expressway (Video)

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