The Murtala Muhammed Airport Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service generated a total of forty eight billion naira (N48b) as against a target of sixty nine billion (N69b), recording a shortfall of about twenty two billion (N22b) at the close of business in 2017. This figure represent 69 per cent of the target given for the preceding year.
Alas, in the first two weeks of 2018, the command made impressive revenue of about one billion, one hundred and eighty eight million, five hundred and sixty thousand naira. Compared to year 2016 figure of fifty five billion naira, the 2017 figure records a shortfall of N7,464,805,321.
According to the Customs Area Comptroller, Edede I. Emmanuel, the command made remarkable progress in revenue generation, trade facilitation and anti- smuggling activities such that from January to July, 2017, it generated the sum of Twenty nine billion, four hundred and forty nine million, six hundred and forty six thousand, seven hundred and twenty naira (N29,449,646,720).
“This represents an increase of two billion, one hundred and ninety one million, one hundred and sixty one thousand, nine hundred and seventy three naira ( N2,191,161,963) when compared with the same period, January to July 2016 which was twenty seven billion, two hundred and fifty eight million, four hundred and eighty four thousand, seven hundred and fifty seven naira ( N27,258,484,757).”
Seizures made by the command include Seven One (71) pieces of Elephant Tusks weighing 124 kgs which were intercepted while being smuggled out of the country. Seven packages of Cannabis concealed in a Desk Top Computer, two parcels of illicit drugs and two cartons of pangolin scales were also intercepted and handed over to the enforcement agencies.
Additionally, the command arrested a passenger in possession of six hundred thousand US Dollars ($600,000) carefully concealed in a bag. He was subsequently handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Furthermore, 29 units of Drones with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of Five million, four hundred and seventy three thousand, nine hundred and ninety naira (N5,473,990); 200 hundred of Ease Cigarettes with DPV of Twenty three million, twenty one thousand, nine hundred and seventy four naira (N23,021,974) while one hundred and fifty (150) Packs of live Ammunitions and two magazines were also seized.
Since April 2017 when the Comptroller came on board, he keyed into the Comptroller General’s reform agenda by instituting courses for his officers and men, ostensibly to keep them abreast of innovations in the trade.
The comptroller commended the brave efforts of his intelligence unit for their dedication and doggedness in the discharge of their duties.