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Apapa Area Command Confident in Achieving N2.3trn Revenue Target – Comptroller Olomu

Comptroller Babatunde Olomu, the newly appointed Customs Area Controller of Apapa Area Command, expressed confidence in the command’s ability to achieve its N2.3 trillion revenue target for 2024. He attributed this optimism to the command’s commitment to trade facilitation and strategic interventions to curb revenue leakages.

Under Comptroller Olomu’s leadership, the command has implemented various initiatives to enhance revenue collection and efficiency, building upon the successes of his predecessor. These efforts have solidified the command’s position as a flagship unit of the Nigeria Customs Service.

To achieve the target, the command has set proactive monthly, weekly, and daily revenue targets of N193 billion, N44 billion, and N8.9 billion, respectively. In the first quarter of 2024, the command surpassed its target with a collection of N489 billion. In April, it generated N182 billion, and in May, N175 billion was collected.

Although there was a slight drop in revenue collection in May, Comptroller Olomu is confident that the command will be able to generate N200 billion in June, thanks to the interventions in place. He assured that all necessary measures, including strict supervision from the headquarters, are being taken to successfully achieve the target.

The command has been actively working to plug revenue loopholes and implement interventions that have resulted in increased revenue generation. One of the potent tools deployed is the scanning machine, which is used to facilitate trade for compliant traders and detect duty evasion attempts through scanning and physical examinations.

Comptroller Olomu acknowledged that globally, most people are reluctant to pay taxes unless compelled to do so. Therefore, it is the command’s responsibility to ensure that appropriate taxes are paid to the government. They continue to implement interventions to plug loopholes and prevent revenue leakages.

The Controller acknowledged that their diligence in checking declarations and consignments using non-intrusive technology (scanning) and physical examinations has made non-compliant traders uncomfortable. Some of them resort to blackmail and other tactics to compromise and dampen the morale of officers. However, the officers remain undeterred in performing their duties.

While the command raises queries on suspicious consignments, compliant traders have no reason to fear, as the command prioritizes not just revenue generation but also trade facilitation.

To expedite cargo delivery, decongest port terminals, and reduce gridlock on the port access road, the command has intensified engagements with barge operators and terminal operators in partnership with other area commands in the corridor. This collaboration aims to convey cargoes on the water, which is faster than transporting them on the roads.

The command clarified that containers are randomly selected for scanning, making it impossible for officers to influence the process. Non-intrusive inspection (scanning) is a globally recognized technology aimed at preventing duty evasion, a common practice among some Nigerian traders.

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