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APAPA CUSTOMS: Olomu Collects N1.02trn, Strongly Warns Duty Evaders and Smugglers

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APAPA CUSTOMS: Olomu Collects N1.02trn, Strongly Warns Duty Evader and Smugglers

…As he Intercepts 11 Containers of Pharmaceuticals, Poultry Products, Others 

Comptroller Babatunde Olomu, the Customs Area Controller of Apapa Area Command on Monday sounded a warning note to duty evaders and perpetrators of smuggling, stressing that the Apapa command is poised to nip illicit importation in the bud.

Olomu sounded the warnings while announcing that the command under his watch broke his own targeted record, to gross over a trillion within the first half year of 2024.

Specifically, the Apapa Customs Command recorded N1,023,663,842,255.63, showing an increase of 143 per cent, above the figures of N421,382,166,378.46 collected in the corresponding period in 2023. 

“Consequently, in line with the CGC zero tolerance for smuggling, I have reformed the command way of treating transires…”

Highlighting that duty evasion and other forms of criminality frowned upon by the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 and other extant laws would be severely sanctioned, Comptroller Olomu said he has now reformed the Command’s way of treating transires, by ensuring more meticulous management of cargoes moving from the mother port to bonded terminals.

In the new dispensation, meticulous efforts have been made to ensure extra measures have been adopted to faster and smoother cargo facilitation, with zero loss of government revenue; thereby guaranteeing that Apapa command nips every illicit importation in the bud.

 “Consequently, in line with the CGC’s zero tolerance for smuggling, I have reformed the command way of treating transires by ensuring more meticulous management of cargoes moving from the mother port to bonded terminals.

 “This has become necessary to prevent a situation where smugglers attempt to perpetuate illegalities in bonded terminals.

“To sustain this tempo, no cargo is allowed to exit from our Command’s control, without thorough inspection using the scanner. 

“We shall not compromise on this as we will keep making seizures, detention and arrests where necessary to protect the national economy and prevent Nigerians from exposure to dangerous or unwholesome products like illicit drugs”, Olomu further stated, noting that his revenue profile is soaring, despite a sharp reduction in the volume of trade.

He was pleased to report that the command’s efforts at promoting trade facilitation were indeed yielding good results, with attendant ease of doing business, prevention of revenue losses, and closer interactions with sister government agencies and private sector stakeholders, including members of the host communities in which it operates.

Olomu noted that the command is also not leaving anything to chance for economic saboteurs as its non-intrusive inspection (NII) regime is fully in place where scanners are deployed for cargo examination with support of physical examination where and when necessary.

“I have a team of dedicated officers charged with the responsibility of addressing all complaints or disputes within record time, before escalation to my office for prompt action.

“I don’t run an open-door policy because, for me, there is no door at all. If you want to access my office, my office is open for everyone to discuss anything that will facilitate legitimate trade and promote government interest at all times, including receiving information on suspected smuggling activities,” he stated.

On Anti-smuggling activities, the controller disclosed that within the period under review, the command made seizures of 11 containers comprising prohibited items, such as expired and unregistered pharmaceuticals, footwear, used clothing, armoured cables, frozen poultry products etc., with a Duty Paid Value of N424,105,975.00 as against 42 seizures with a DPV of N1.4 billion made in the corresponding period in 2023.

He hinted that only last week, the command uncovered a large quantity of expired and unregistered pharmaceuticals in 3x40ft container numbers TCKU 6928184; MRKU 4422733, MRSU 5550243; and another 3x40ft container nos. MNBU 3934925; MEDU 9107559, and MEDU 9752980 loaded with  7,580 cartons of frozen poultry products unfit for human consumption, which was against schedule 3 of the revised import prohibition list of the Common External Tariff (CET). 

He recalled that upon taking over as Area Controller of Apapa, he had set up a revenue recovery committee comprising of seasoned and dedicated officers with a mandate to carry out a more detailed look into areas of leakages, especially in bonded terminals under Apapa Command.

On trade facilitation, he also explained that

the command was already applying a blend of intelligence with community relations for better awareness of its operating environment to achieve greater trade facilitation and fight criminality.

He declared that these importations violate section 233 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023,

The Command Controller noted that the harmful effects of fake and unregistered pharmaceutical products on citizens were unquantifiable and as a responsible Service, owes Nigerians the duty of preventing them from being exposed to this dangerous importation.

Speaking on the relationship with sister agencies, Olomu said that the leadership of the command is in close touch with sister government agencies, working like a team with shared responsibilities. 

He commended the Nigeria Police, Department of State Service (DSS), NDLEA, NAFDAC, SON, NIS, NAQS, Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and others for their support so far. 

“We made progress together and will continue to collaborate in the national interest,” he noted.

The controller registered his utmost appreciation to the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, and the entire Management team for providing the command with the needed support and leadership in discharging its responsibilities.

He also thanked officers and men of the command for their resilience, and stakeholders for their support and urged that they continually work together to achieve a better second half of 2024.

The Maritime First can vividly report that the Presidency has just sent a commendation acknowledgement to the Comptroller General of Customs CGC, Adewale Adeniyi, on the Unimaginable ways the Nigeria Customs Service is presently baking revenue, for the Federal Government.

Perhaps, the unarguable truth is that the current CGC not only knows his onion, but he has specially hand-picked his personally trained first eleven, enabling him to place Controllers Dera Nnadi in Tin Can Island Ports; Ejibonu over Operation Whirlwind, Bomodi at Seme Border and Babatunde Olomu at the Apapa Customs Command, amongst others.

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CIoTA Executives Visit NIMASA DG, Mobereola

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CIoTA Executives Visit NIMASA DG, Mobereola

…Pledged collaboration to ensure the transportation sector is professionally driven

The Executives of the Chartered Institute of Transportation Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA) paid a visit to the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola, at the NIMASA Towers in Lagos.

CIoTA Executives Visit NIMASA DG, Mobereola
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dayo Mobereola (right), receiving a plaque from the President of the Chartered Institute of Transportation Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA), Mr Segun Obayendo, during the NIMASA DG’s conferment as a Fellow of CIoTA at the NIMASA Towers in Lagos.

The executives, led by the President, Mr Segun Obayendo, congratulated the DG on his appointment and pledged to collaborate with the agency in ensuring the transportation sector is professionally driven.

The DG welcomed the association and expressed the Agency’s readiness to partner with CIoTA towards achieving a robust transport sector.

The President of the Chartered Institute of Transportation Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA), Mr. Segun Obayendo; the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola; the Executive Director of Operations, NIMASA, Engr. Fatai Adeyemi; and the Executive Director of Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, NIMASA, Jibril Abba, during the NIMASA DG’s conferment as a Fellow of CIoTA at the NIMASA Towers in Lagos.

Dr. Dayo Mobereola, the NIMASA DG, was conferred with a fellowship at the institute.

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NPA: Tinubu Sacks Bello-Koko, Appoints Dantsoho New MD; Sen. Adeyeye Chairman

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NPA: Tinubu Sacks Bello-Koko, Appoints Dantsoho New MD; Sen. Adeyeye Chairman

President Bola Tinubu has kicked out the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA Managing Director, Muhammed Bello-Koko and replaced him with Dr Abubakar Dantsoho. He also approved the appointment of Sen. Adedayo Adeyeye as Chairman of the NPA Board.

A statement by his spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the new Managing Director is a core professional and holds a PhD, in Maritime Technology.

“Dr Dantsoho holds a Doctorate in Maritime Technology from Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, and a Master’s degree in International Transport from Cardiff University of Wales, United Kingdom.

Dr Abubakar-Dantsoho

“Before his appointment, he had served in various roles in the Nigerian Ports Authority as Assistant General Manager; Technical Assistant to the Managing Director; Port Manager, Onne Port; and Principal Manager, Tariff & Billing”, Ngelale stated, adding:

“Senator Adeyeye, the Board Chairman, is a seasoned lawyer, journalist, and politician,” the statement further said.

Sen. Adedayo Adeyeye

Adeyeye is a former Minister of State for Works and a former Ekiti South Senatorial District senator.

“The President expects the new leadership of this pivotal agency to deploy excellence in the discharge of their duties to enable efficient port services and improved industry outcomes,” Ajuri Ngelale indicated further.

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Customs Enforcement: NAGAFF Clarifies Role And Mandate Amidst Allegations Of Frustration, Extortion

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Customs Enforcement: NAGAFF Clarifies Role And Mandate Amidst Allegations Of Frustration, Extortion

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has expressed concern over the lack of understanding among some freight forwarders regarding the role of the Enforcement Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at Tin Can Port.

In a statement released by NAGAFF Headquarters, the association emphasized that the Enforcement Unit serves as gatekeeper and an intervention force, mandated to police the ports and border stations, acting on intelligence information from the Customs Intelligence Unit, Interpol, and informants.

NAGAFF clarified that the Customs Intelligence Unit operates effectively, bursting revenue crimes in customs ports, and encouraged freight forwarders to report any corruption or observations to the appropriate authorities.

Customs Enforcement: NAGAFF Clarifies Role And Mandate Amidst Allegations Of Frustration, Extortion

The association advised freight forwarders to maintain professional standards, ensuring genuine declaration of imports and exports for customs purposes, as non-disclosure is an offence against customs laws, leading to seizure and prosecution.

NAGAFF assured high response rates from its High Command to protect genuine declarations and compliance, emphasizing that the Comptroller General of Customs and his management team will not tolerate any corrupt acts.

The statement was signed by Dr Clement Iwegbuna, NPS, NAGAFF Hqtrs, and forwarded to the Comptroller General of Customs, DCG Enforcement, and DCG T&T Hqtrs for their information and records.

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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

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