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Customs

Apapa Customs in harvest of seizures

Comptroller M I Yusuf displaying some of the intercepted items at APMT, Apapa
—-intercepts non-compliant goods worth  N17.5billion
—collects N784.8 billion revenue in 11 months 
Eyewitness reporter
A gale of seizures of non-compliant goods swept through the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service when the men and officers of the command intercepted contraband and concealed goods worth a whooping sum of N17. 5 billion in duty paid value.
The unconventional goods, laden in a total of 97 containers of 20 and 40 ft sizes, were impounded within the period of January to November 2021.
The Customs Area Comptroller of the Command, Comptroller Yusuf Ibrahim Malanta, who conducted newsmen round the seized goods, said the command recorded seizure of 13 containers with a duty paid value of 285million in the month of November alone.
According to him, the seized items included 46.55kg of Cocaine concealed on vessels MV KARTERIA and CHAYANEE NAREE  with a street value of N13.2 billion which were recorded on two occasions.
Other intercepted goods were hard substances like Captagon pills, Tramadol, Codeine syrup, foreign parboiled rice, tomatoes paste, used clothing, among others.
Comptroller Yusuf said these seizures were made based on clear contravention of sections 46, 47, and 161 of Customs and Excise Management Act(CEMA) Cap C45 LFN 2004.
Malanta warned the perpetrators of the illicit trade to steer clear of the Apapa command as they will always be caught due to the fact that the men and officers of the command will always be several steps ahead of them.

Some of the seized containers at Apapa port

He revealed that superior intelligence gathering, use of forensic manifest management system and the synergy with other sister agencies in the ports are some of the methods used to flag these illicit trade practices.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we would like to reiterate here that we will not compromise proper examination on the altar of trade facilitation and we will also not relent on sharing intelligence to alert the system on false declaration even after examination or release of falsely declared cargo.
“Concealment will always be unveiled through the use of forensic manifest management system and synergy with other sister agencies in the ports”, the Customs Chief declared.
In another breath, Comptroller Malanta disclosed that the command garnered the sum of N784.8 billion as revenue from January to November 2021.
It could be recalled that the command raked in a stunning amount of N89.7 billion revenue in the month of November alone, a feat considered unprecedented in the history of monthly revenue generation in any command of the service.
“This remarkable feat was a result of improved inter-agency synergies, enhanced trade facilitation, speedy dispute resolution, and prevention of revenue leakages” the Apapa Customs helmsman stated.
Despite the geometric rise in the monthly revenue haul of the command, Comptroller Yusuf said his men and officers will not rest on their oars to continually improve on the revenue profile of the command.
He however expressed his appreciation to stakeholders and compliant traders for keeping to the rules of engagement on imports and exports procedures by adhering to the dictates of import/ export guidelines.
Malanta however warned perpetrators of illegalities that the officers and men of the command are always vigilant to uncover any form of unlawful trade.
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Customs

Customs collects N1.7trn  revenue in 8 months

CGC, Ali

 

–embarks on aggressive revenue hunts to meet target

The Eyewitness reporter

The Nigeria Customs Service has collected a whooping sum of  N1,755,386,486,390.02  as revenue in the first eight months of the year spanning January and August.

The service made the highest monthly earnings of N241,903,781,854.46 in August as the service intensifies its aggressive revenue drive to meet the expectations of the Federal Government which has come to rely on the revenue from the service to fund its critical project.

This follows the diversification of government to non-oil sectors and expands its tax base due to the dwindling revenue from the oil sector.
The revenue in the first eight months of 2022 is N363,436,321,614.95 higher than N1,391,950,164,775.97 the customs collected in the corresponding period of 2021.

Abuja has increased its focus on non-oil revenue sources, prompting higher expectations from revenue collection agencies such as the NCS, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others.

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Customs

Why we adopted direct auction sale for scrap vehicles—-Customs

seized vehicles waiting to be auctioned

 

The Eyewitness reporter
The Nigeria Customs Service has explained the reason why it recently disposed of scrap vehicles under its control through the direct auction sale method.
In an exclusive interview with our reporter, the National Public Relations Officer (NPRO) of the Service, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi, explained that no sane person could purchase those damaged vehicles for use except those who melt them into metal as raw materials.
” Yes, the vehicles we auctioned through direct sales were all scraps. They are vehicles used by smugglers which are purposely built for their nefarious activities.
“These vehicles are damaged beyond repairs and the service could not upload such vehicles on its auction portal to the general public.
“That was why we sold them directly at very ridiculously low prices to iron smelting companies who will melt them into iron.
“These vehicles litter all our commands in the country and are constituting an environmental nuisance.
“So we needed to evacuate them from those places for the safety of our officers who are constantly being faced with the danger of attacks from snakes and other dangerous reptiles which hide under the cover of these scrap vehicles”, Bomodi declared.
He said his explanation was meant to clarify what he described as false information and misconception being peddled to the public by auctioneers.
The auctioneers have accused the Customs of branding about 6000 seized vehicles as scraps before selling them off at cheap prices to their cronies.
The aggrieved auctioneers have further claimed that the Customs conducted the auction of the vehicles without open competitive bidding as it’s enshrined in the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) Act, 2007.
“So far, about 6,000 vehicles have been sold to their cronies through the so-called direct auction allocation.
“The vehicles, which could have fetched the government huge revenue, were sold as scraps at giveaway prices.

“We all know that it is a ploy to enrich their favoured contractors at the expense of the government.

” The government is being denied the revenue it would have realised from open competitive auctions.
” If this government is serious, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali should be answering tough questions from either the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or the National Assembly by now,” the Auctioneers claimed.
They further alleged that instead of selling the confiscated goods through public auctions as mandated by the law, the NCS had been selecting the dealers it sells to.
“What the BPP Act says
Section 55 (3) (5) of the BPP Act stipulates that open competitive bidding shall be the primary source of receiving offers for the purchase of any public property offered for sale.
“For the purposes of this Act, public property is defined as resources in the form of tangible and non-tangible assets (ranging from serviceable to the unserviceable).

“According to a letter from the NCS to a company, AMEX West Africa Limited and dated March 25, 2022, with reference number: NCS/ADM/MGT/012/S.2/C, signed by the Chairman, Direct Disposal of Scraps Committee, Comptroller A.D Sanusi, titled, ‘Direct auction allocation of scrap vehicles and other items,’ it was indicated therein that 338 vehicles were sold for N3,380,000 through direct auction allocation in Abuja.
It read, ‘’I am directed to inform you that the Comptroller-General of Customs, acting on the provisions of Customs and Exercise Management (Disposal of goods) Act, CAP C46, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, hereby allocates the under-listed 338 lots of various scrap vehicles domiciled at Katsina State Area Command to your company as auction sales for the purpose of disposal, smelting and fabrication into raw materials for production valued at N3,380,000 only.

“All vehicles disposed of must be evacuated from the premises within 10 working days after payment or risk forfeiture.

” Furthermore, you are to note the following: Application for replacement of allocated vehicles would not be entertained. All allocation letters transferred or sold by the allottee to a third party shall be at the buyer’s risk.’’
However, Bomodi stated that the auctioneers were only being mischievous and clever by half in their claims as the vehicles auctioned through the direct disposal method were actually scraps and not branded as such.
He disclosed that Customs still conducts open bidding auction exercises on its auction portal.
“The last time we conducted the auction of serviceable vehicles on our portal was early this year and another round of the exercise will soon be conducted” he disclosed.

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Customs

Anger, frustration among freight forwarders as government increases Customs exchange rate again

CGC, Ali
The Eyewitness reporter
There was a wild wave of anger, despondence and frustration among the freight forwarders Monday as they were slammed with yet another increase in the Customs exchange rate.
Our reporter gathered that Customs brokers woke up Monday to find a new exchange rate on the Customs portal, different from the one left there last Friday.
From the screenshot of the portal shared with our reporter, the rate has been increased from $409 to  $422. 3, a difference of $13.
Confirming the increment, Mrs Onome Monije, the Public Relations officer of the Tin Can chapter of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), said the change in the exchange rate was dumped on the agents without any prior notice.
Mrs Monije declared that the increment would automatically lead to higher costs in goods clearance and the value of goods in the market.
While absolving Customs of any blame since “they were merely implementing government fiscal policy as directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)”, she however appealed to the authority to always give freight forwarders prior notice of such changes.
The ANLCA chieftain admonished her colleagues not to cut corners but intimate their importers of the new development in order to comply with the new changes in the customs exchange rate.
However,  there was angst among a cross-section of freight forwarders who expressed frustration and disappointment over the latest increase.
They expressed anger that it has become a normal practice by the government cum Customs to slap such increases on them without prior notice.
They feared that the latest increase will further lead to astronomical increases in the cost of clearance, especially vehicles, which costs, they said, have already been jerked out of reach of average Nigerians.
According to Onome, the increment will result in a minimum of an additional 40,000 on a single small vehicle while it will result in a minimum of N100, 000 or more on a big vehicle whose clearing cost prior to now, is over a million.
She said the additional cost will be graduated depending on the volume of the consignment.
The new change, which has already taken immediate effect, may lead to a momentary delay or sluggishness in clearance procedure as the importers and their agents may have to adjust to the new reality.
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