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Customs

How I reinvented revenue drive at Apapa Customs—Yusuf Malanta —-rakes in N366billon in six months.

Eyewitness reporter
Since Comptroller Yusuf Malanta Ibrahim took over the mantle of leadership at the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service in February 2021, the command has gone into a heightened revenue frenzy that is unprecedented in the history of the flagship command.
He has not only sustained the rich tradition of the command as the revenue basket of the service but has also reinvented the revenue drive of the command that has made it to consistently break all the revenue records in the history of the command.
At the press conference he held Tuesday to unveil the half-year performance of the command, Comptroller Malanta revealed what he did differently from his predecessors that has set the command on a new revenue trajectory.
“When I came in, I looked at the existing structure and discovered there were gaps and I proceeded to plugged the identified loopholes.
“I met a revenue of N48 billion. But ever since then, I have consistently grown the revenue profile of the command through the efforts of my committed and dedicated staff and support management staff.
“So in subsequent months, I have grown the revenue which I met from  N48 billion to N52 billion, N64 billion, and N66 billion.
“And today, (June), we are talking about N 78.4 billion.
But Malanta vowed that he was not going to stop at that as he intended to keep on building the revenue arsenal of the command.
While revealing the performance indices of the command in the first half of the year, Malanta disclosed that a whopping sum of N366 billion was realised between January to June, 2021.
This figure, according to him, represents a 61 percent increase when compared to the N227 billion that was collected with the corresponding period in 2020.
The command has continued to break all revenue barriers to set new revenue records when it again recorded an astounding N 78.4 billion in the month of June 21st which clearly shows an increase of over 90 percent when compared to the N 42.4 billion collected in the corresponding month under review.
This figure also dwarfed the sum of N65.5 billion which the command collected in April.
Similarly, the command processed export cargoes worth N272.3 billion between January to June 2021.
 The exports which passed through the command within the period under review included Agricultural goods such as sesame seed, ginger, hibiscus flower, and other mineral resources.
“The total tonnage of the said export stood at 1.6 million tones with FOB value of $103 billion.”
“This spectacular achievement was made possible by our officers’ resilience and commitment in ensuring collections of appropriate revenue, robust stakeholders’ engagement and seamless facilitation of compliant trade.”
Malanta further stated that the anti-smuggling operations of the command led to the interception of contraband smuggled into the country.
The seized items which worth N27.6billion include unregistered pharmaceutical, used clothing, tomato paste among others.
“Nonetheless, our sustained anti-smuggling campaign and the increased level of compliance have resulted in a reduction of smuggling activities throughout the command.
“Thus, for the period under review, the Command recorded 10 seizures of various uncustoms goods such as tomato paste, used clothing, unregistered pharmaceutical drugs with a Duty Paid Value of N442 million
“This unprecedented record is a great validation of our new approach to revenue drive. It is also fitting to emphasize here that this volume of revenue has never been recorded in the history of the flagship Command of the Nigeria Customs Service.”
“Consequent upon the above and in line with the provision of Extant laws, trade guidelines and enforcement of Government Fiscal Policy, the Command was able to strengthen its anti-smuggling operation against economic saboteurs through a timely credible intelligence-driven network which led to the seizure of 46 containers between January to June 2021 with Duty Paid Value of N27.6 billion.”
These unprecedented achievements were made amidst economic contraction that was worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
But, according to Malanta, the command was able to navigate through these difficult times with the vision of the management, commitment, and dedication of men and officers of the command.
 “I am not stopping at our present achievements.
“With the type of management team I have and the type of structure we have put in place, we shall continue to preach compliance.
“It is when there is compliance that cargo throughput will be faster and when cargo throughput is faster, the revenue declaration will be faster and therefore, revenue will be coming automatically” Comptroller Ibrahim declared.
The success story of Apapa command under the leadership of Malanta revolves around the use and deployment of ICT.
As a system man who is well versatile in the use of ICT, Malanta uses information technology to identify and plug revenue loopholes and this has boosted the revenue performance of the command.
Also, the command, under the prompting of the Area Comptroller, has developed strong inter-agency collaboration and deep stakeholders’ engagement that has helped the command to continue to break all the revenue barriers.
The command had also relentlessly preached the gospel of compliance which has so far changed the orientation of importers and their agents to made correct declarations and payment of Customs duties.
To underscore the importance he attached to compliance, Malanta created a new unit called Compliance unit to drive this crusade, advocacy that has started to yield high dividends as evidenced by the level of compliance among those who ply their trade in the command and the resultant accrued revenue.
The use of intelligence is another forte of the command which Malanta has successfully used to track cargoes bound for the command.
This explains the impressive records of seizures of contraband made by the command.
With this new ” structure” created by Malanta, it is hoped that the command will sustain the new revenue trajectory which has been responsible for the monthly revenue harvests that are expected to be further boosted by the hike in exchange rates for Customs duties.
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Customs

Customs gives importers of improperly imported vehicles soft landing

Wale Adeniyi, CGC
— announces 90-day window to pay import duties with 25 percent penalty
The Eyewitness Reporter
The Nigeria Customs Service has bent backward to give a soft landing to importers of vehicles whose vehicles were detained by the customs over improper documentation and undervaluation.
Acting on the Ministry of Finance’s instructions, the Customs has given a 90- day window for the vehicles under that category to pay the required customs duty in addition to a 25 percent penalty and take delivery of their consignments.
According to the statement by the service, those whose vehicles were seized and condemned will not enjoy this grace as they have forfeited their consignments to the Federal Government.
“All vehicle owners, Importers/Agents seeking to regularize import duties on their vehicles are required to apply to the Zonal Coordinators (Zones A, B, C, D) and CAC FCT Command.
“They must submit the necessary available documents and process Vreg in line with the Federal Ministry of Finance directives for the registration of imported motor vehicles.
“Valuation and assessment of the vehicles will be carried out using the VIN valuation method.
” Import Duty and a 25% penalty shall be paid in tandem with the import guidelines, procedures, and documentation requirements for used vehicles under the Destination Inspection Scheme in Nigeria (2013) and the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.
” Also, duty payments must be made using the Procedure Code specifically created for this exercise.
“This initiative reflects our unwavering commitment to facilitating compliance. We encourage all stakeholders to capitalize on this opportunity within the stipulated timeframe” the statement added.
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Customs

The giant stride of Comptroller Kolade as anti-smuggling czar 

The Eyewitness Reporter 

One year after Comptroller Kayode Kolade assumed office on the 25th January 2023 at the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone C of the Nigeria Customs Service, it has not been business as usual for economic saboteurs who ply the Eastern region to perpetuate their enterprise.

The FOU Zone C in Port Harcourt is the South East and South South Region including Bayelsa, Port Harcourt 1 and 2, Edo, Delta, Cross River and Akwa Ibom.

Compt Kolade was enlisted into the Superintendent Cadre of the Nigeria Customs Service in 1989, making tremendous progress by rising recently to the rank of Comptroller of Customs in 2024.

He has worked in various Customs Formations in different capacities.

 To mention but just a few, he was DC in charge of the SIFAX bonded terminal in Apapa Port, he was D/C B1 Tincan Island Port, a position he occupied before he got appointed as the Acting Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit Zone C Owerri-based on his track records in revenue and anti-smuggling exploits.

He was also the Coordinator of, the Joint Border Patrol Team, Code-named: Border Drill Sector 1 Port Harcourt in 2018. Earlier in his career path, he has worked at Seme Border, KLT, FOU A and Headquarters respectively

Kayode Kolade was appointed to pilot the affairs of the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ Owerri since January 2023 where his giant record speaks volumes.

Under the cerebral anti-smuggling czar, the Federal Operations Unit FOU, Zone “C” seized goods worth over N 5 billion in the total Duty Paid Value (DPV) category in the 2023 fiscal year.

Some of the items seized were pangolin scales, foreign parboiled rice, cannabis sativa (AKA Indian hemp), fake pharmaceutical products, tramadol, used vehicles, used tyres, used clothing and explosive raw materials among others.

As a result of the interventions of officers of the zone under Comptroller Kolade’s watch in checkmating the activities of fraudulent agents at the seaports, lots of revenues, hitherto lost, amounting to over N152 million were recovered.

Within the first three months of his resumption at Zone C, Comptroller Kolade dealt the first blow on smugglers with the interception of contraband goods valued at N2.8 billion between January 25 and March 25.

The unit under his watch also arrested 13 suspected smugglers during the period.The value of the goods intercepted was N2.7 billion, while the balance of N61.4 million was for demand notices the command raised based on some infractions.

The seized items include five sacks of pangolin scales, 398 sacks of Indian hemp, weighing 8,756kg and another 2,308 compressed parcels of Indian hemp of 1kg each.

The five sacks of pangolin scales weighing 413.1kg and the 11,064kg of Indian hemp are the highest if not arguably the first seizure of such endangered species and hard drugs in the history of the zone.

Other seizures were 2,600 bottles of codeine-based cough syrup packed in 26 cartons, three exotic bulletproof vehicles, 931 jumbo bales of second-hand clothing and 484 bags of smuggled rice.

Also intercepted were 31 cartons of various medicaments including tramadol; 32 jerry cans of petrol and 540 pieces of used tyres.

Between July 25 and September 23, 2023, the FOU Zone C dealt another major blow on smugglers with the interception of cannabis sativa, raw materials for the production of explosive devices, as well as other contraband with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.6 billion.The Zone also arrested nine suspects in connection with the seizures.

Eagle-eyed officers of the command also intercepted nine sacks of 50kg each of explosive materials namely fertilizer, device cables and superpower chemicals.

The Superpower 90 which was intercepted by the unit is designed for priming applications and as a column explosive in surface and underground mining and general blasting

Other items seized include 1,329 bags of 50kg smuggled foreign rice; 417 sacks of cannabis sativa weighing 9,194kg and 627 compressed parcels of the same substance totaling 627kg.

Also impounded are one unit of an armored bullion van, 761 jumbo bales of second-hand clothing, and 883 cartons of various.

 unregistered/expired medicaments, 192 packets of 225mg of tramadol, 100 cartons of wine, 5,737 pieces of used pneumatic tyres and 335 cartons of smuggled foreign tomato paste.

Meanwhile, freight forwarders operating in the maritime sector have commended the sagacity of Comptroller Kayode Kolade as a disciplined officer and a fine gentleman.

He has attended many courses as Nigeria Customs representative both locally and internationally, worthy of mention includes: INDIA trip courses on enforcement of Government Fiscal policy and Revenue, among others.

He is a recipient of many Awards in recognition of his outstanding achievements.

The most cherished is the commendation letter for outstanding performance in anti-smuggling operations from the former Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) in 2017 while he was the coordinator of CGC Strike Force Team Zone ‘C’ covering the South-South/South-East States.

He also received a lot of Merit Awards as Best Enforcement Officer at the various Customs formations where he worked from the media, too numerous to mention.

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Customs

Customs suspends officer, hands over to Police over alleged collection of N.5 million bribe from car buyer

The Eyewitness Reporter

The  Federal Operations Unit, Zone ‘B’ of the Nigeria Customs Service based in Kaduna has apprehended an officer over his alleged involvement in a N500,000 bribery scandal.
The undisclosed officer, who is a member of the roving team of the FOU, Zone B, Kaduna, along Mokwa- Jebba road, Niger State, was said to have demanded and collected a gratification of the sum of N500,000 from one Mohammed Dahiru, a car buyer, for a favour.
Disclosing this to journalists while handing over the suspect to the Assistant Provost Marshal (APM) Customs Police Unit, Kaduna,
Comptroller of the units, Dalha Wada Chedi, said a full-scale investigation has been instituted to determine the extent of the culpability of the suspended officer.
Comptroller Chedi, while addressing newsmen in the premises of the Unit, confirmed that the suspected Officer involved in this unwholesome act is indeed an operative of the Unit deployed to Mokwa Patrol Team in Niger State, lamenting that the unfortunate incident occurred in the early hour of Thursday 22nd February 2024 as reported by the complainant.

“Upon hearing the alleged unfortunate incident, I directed the Customs Police Unit in the Zone that is responsible for enforcing discipline in the Service to apprehend the Officer and move him to the Unit’s Headquarters here in Kaduna for further interrogation.
“Also, the Complainant was invited to assist in the investigation as well”, disclosed the Comptroller.

He added that “The Comptroller General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi and his Management team frowned at such unruly behavior as such, the disciplinary committee will be diligent and firm.

” In fact, the Service is very pragmatic and practical in disciplinary cases and this one will not be an exception”.

Comptroller Chedi thereafter handed over the suspected Officer to the APM Customs Police Unit for further investigation.

 In his words, “The Officer is hereby handed over to the APM Customs Police Unit for discreet investigation and the findings of the investigation will be transmitted to NCS-HQ for further action by the Nigeria Customs Service Board as it is the only body that handles the appointment, promotions and discipline of all Senior Officers of the Service”.

“This unprofessional and ungodly act will not be condoned. A thorough investigation has just commenced,” concluded the irate Comptroller.

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