The Apapa Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it collected N30.1billion into the federation and non-federation accounts in August.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ekpa said in a statement yesterday that the amount is against N24.5 billion collected in July and the second highest it generated after it recorded N32.4 billion in March.
He said the amount collected into the federation account stood at N16. 082 billion while N14.066 billion was collected into the non-federation account. Ekpa said the sum was collected from import duty on wheat grain, rice levy, sugar levy and seven percent port levy among others.
He said during the period, 39 vessels called at the port compared to 51 that called in the corresponding period of 2014 adding that yard occupancy of the port was 45 percent as against 75 percent in August 2014 while import discharge was 16, 983 as against 27,722 of 2014.
The Apapa Customs Command spokesman said despite low vessel calls at the port in August, the command recorded an increase in its revenue profile mainly due to dedication of officers and by ensuring that all revenue loopholes were blocked.
In a separate development, the NCS said it collected N179.3 million from “merchandise-baggage” at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport between January and July, 2015.
This is contained in a statement released on Tuesday in Lagos by the Public Relations Officer of the airport’s command of the service, Thelma Williams. Merchandise-in-baggage are items accompanying inward-bound passengers for which import duty are collected.
The statement noted that the generated revenue from the source would have been lost but for the devotion of `eagle-eyed’ officers at the airport’s arrival halls.
It said that First Bank was the designated bank for collection of the duty, which was processed through Passenger Electronic Baggage Entry System (PEBES).
“The duty payable is calculated based on the tendered invoice value of the items.
“Where invoices are unavailable, passengers are referred to the Valuation Unit where imports are assessed using valid data in the system,” it said.
The command explained that there was particular focus on methods of processing payment for merchandise-in-baggage, and implored travellers to be patient and honest during routine checks and questioning. It advised members of the public to refer to Customs website, Help Desk and Public Relations Officer for issues about the duty payment.
According to it, this will enable them to make further clarification as to the items allowed as personal baggage by travellers and the quantity which might be brought in without incurring taxes.
“MMIA Command has been diligent in carrying out its responsibility with regard to trade facilitation, duty collection and the enforcement of prohibition,” the statement said.
It said that recent events at the arrival and departure halls of the airport had made it necessary to clarify issues relating to the operational modalities of officers posted to the arrival halls.
The command restated that passengers were statutorily required to make declaration of all cash in excess of 10,000 dollars at either point of entry or exit at the airport.
It maintained that its officers were committed to the ongoing reform in the country and were showing diligence in bringing positive change to the society. It urged all stakeholders to partner the service to achieve its goal of trade facilitation and revenue generation for the nation.
By Pita Ochai