Nigeria loses N13bn at Lagos seaports in three months

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The Federal Government has lost N13 billion in Customs revenue at the Lagos seaport in the first quarter of 2016. This is even as the volume of vessel call at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) continues to nosedive due to unfavourable government policies that have driven importers away from the nation’s seaports.

This disclosure was made recently during a stakeholders’ meeting in Apapa Lagos, by the Customs Area Controller in charge of the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Willy Egbudin.

He stated that his command collected N61.7 billion as revenue between January and March 2016, thereby recording a deficit of N13 billion when compared with the N74.71 billion the command collected in the corresponding period in 2015.

Egbudin further complained that vessel call at the Lagos Ports Complex has dropped and as a result, revenue collection by the service has dipped.

“If revenue collection continues to drop in flagship command of the Nigeria Customs Service, I wonder how other commands will get their own revenue. Apapa Area Command is the flagship of Nigeria Customs Service and if revenue generation from Apapa is going down, that means revenue generation as a whole to the Customs will go down. That is why we the stakeholders and the officers in Apapa command must fashion out a way of improving on its revenue,” he said.

He also noted that the command placed a higher premium on the monthly meeting, urging the stakeholders to come up with ideas, suggestions and innovations on how to improve on revenue generation.

Egbudin also reemphasised the need for officers and men of the service and other key stakeholders in trade facilitation to uphold integrity in their line of duty, stressing the need for honest declaration in the clearing procedure of consignments.

He said integrity on the part of the operators will bring about improved revenue collection, calling on the stakeholders to look inward on how improve on revenue collection.

The premier command boss added that the situation in 2015 was quite different with what is obtainable recently, adding that more cargoes were imported in the corresponding year. He urged importers and their principals to embrace honest declaration in order to assist the command collect more revenue.

“Even when these vessels come in, they come with scanty number of containers; bulk cargoes no longer come the way they used to, because some of the items have been denied by the FOREX policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria,” Egbudin stated.

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