Federal Government’s economic diversification programme through non-oil export promotion received a boost as the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service recorded a total of 95, 229.15 metric tonnes of non-oil export products between January and June, 2019.

The free on board FOB value of these exports, which are mainly agricultural and natural mineral products, have been put at N14.3billion ($46.61million).

Speaking on the development, the Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Muhammed Abba-Kura attributed the feat to the decision of the command to put in place a high level of compliance on export declaration to complement government’s effort at boosting non-oil exports to check the current over dependent on crude export.

He also disclosed that the command collected a total of N203.3 billion revenue comprising import duty and other fees and levies during the period under review.

This represents 54.5 per cent of the total annual revenue target of N372.6billion for the 2019 fiscal year, which translates to a monthly revenue target of N31.046billion.

Other details of the revenue collection for the review period show an increase of N26.5billion when compared to the figures of N176.8billion collected in the comparative period of 2018.

He also attributed this sharp increase in the command’s revenue profile to the reforms introduced by the management under his watch, which border on transparency, openness as well as constant interaction with the various stakeholders, especially importers and their freight agents, which led to more honest declarations.

“We adopted the policy of regular stakeholders’ engagements, open door policy, prompt resolution of disputes by the Dispute Resolution Committee as well as maintaining right synergy and collaboration with other sister agencies, which also contributed to the command’s increased revenue profile”, Abba-Kura also said.

On anti-smuggling, he said: “Within the period under review, the command seized a total of twenty -nine containers of various items that contravened import procedures. These items include Tomato Paste, vegetable oil, ladies and girls fashion footwear, tramadol and other drugs”.

Other items seized by the command with the review period include armoured glasses without End User Certificate and drilling pipes labeled in foreign language.

The CAC insists that all the listed items with a Duty Paid Value DPV of N418.4million illegally imported into the country have breached Federal Government Fiscal Policy Measures for 2018/2019.

He noted that the command would continue to up its game in terms of non-oil export drive, revenue generation and suppression of smuggling to the barest minimum by reinvigorating its capacity programme for both officers and stakeholders operating within the command through which it acquaints them with modern trends, government fiscal policies as well as operation of the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System NICIS II platform, among several others.

While promising hell for non-compliant importers and their agents, the Apapa Customs boss however assured that the command would continue to facilitate speedy legitimate, compliant trade that satisfy the necessary procedures in terms of transactions.

He also assured compliant stakeholders of accelerated clearance process for all their consignments.