A total of 116 million metric tonnes of goods with Free on Board (FOB) value of $109.6 million were exported through the Apapa port in the first quarter of 2021.
Controller, Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Yusuf Malanta, who disclosed the figures during a press briefing in Lagos on Monday said exports from the port were boosted by agricultural products such as cashew nuts, hibiscus, sesame seeds and other mineral resources as well as soap, textiles and noodles worth N41.5 billion.
Malanta said the command also collected N159.5billion as import duties and other charges within the review period.
The amount, he said represents 44.8 percent increase in duty collection when compared to the revenue of 110 billion generated within the review period of 2020.
“The difference recorded was made possible because of robust stakeholders’ engagement, officers resolute in discharging their duties and an increased level of compliance in the traders’ zone,” he said.
On anti smuggling, Malanta said the command made seizures of 28 containers with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.8billion. The seized goods he said include unregistered pharmaceuticals such as tramadol, codeine, foreign parboiled rice and used clothing among others.
While showcasing the seized drugs to journalists, Malanta who was accompanied by the Commander, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Apapa Special Area Command, Samuel Gazama, said manufacturers of tramadol have started changing the original name of the drug to Gebedol, Fakadol in an effort to beat detection of security agencies at the nation’s ports.
“They now call tramadol with different names such as Gebedol, fakadol and Royal. All these are classes of tramadol. You can imagine the extent that people can go to import things that can destroy fellow citizens. You can see the way the drugs are concealed. If not by intelligence, we won’t be able to see it. Making money should not be at the detriment of your fellow human being.
“They are all unregistered pharmaceutical drug that is why they did not secure NAFDAC permit. With the synergy and information sharing with other government agencies this kind of information can never pass through our eyes. We are profiling the importer if he has previously imported and be sure if there are others in the system,” he said
According to him, all the importation are in breach of section 46, 47 and 161 of the Customs and Excise Management Act CAP C45 LFN 2004 and schedules 4 and 6 of the Common External Tariff.
The Customs boss added that the command has improved on its existing collaboration with other government agencies in the areas of information sharing and other areas that will further make it difficult for perpetrators of trade malpractice to succeed in the port.