Steve Agbota

The recent closure of the nation’s land borders to import and export by the Federal Government has forced shippers to import cargoes through Nigerian seaports.

In spite of the import increase, foreigners have continued to reject Nigerian export cargoes due to failure to meet international standards best practice.

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Speaking yesterday at the media briefing on the activities of the Apapa Area Command from January 1st to December 18th 2019, the Customs Area Controller, Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC), Compt. Mohammed Abba -Kura said since the beginning of the border closure, the command’s revenue has increased. According to him, the command generated N414billion from January to December 18, 2019 as against N404 billion generated between Januay and December 2018, which translates into about 111 per cent of the 2019 annual revenue target.

However, he said the command had the highest revenue figure of N42, 726 billion in the month of October, which is the peak of the border closure. This precedent according to him, gives evidence to positive impacts of the policy, which has reduced incidences of smuggling through the land border  and increased legitimate imports through the seaports tremendously. Speaking on anti-smuggling, he said within the period under review, the Command seized a total of 112 containers of various items that flouted import procedures. He added that most notable among the items were pharmaceutical products, which include tramadol that were imported without necessary approval from regulatory agencies like NAFDAC.

In the area of export, he said the Command recorded high level of compliance on export declaration. Within the period under review, he said the Command also recorded a total volume of 262, 095.09 metric tons of exported goods with Free on Board (FOB) value of $132.760 million.