- Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba
By Anthony Nwachukwu
The Apapa Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) achieved a landmark N11.3 billion revenue collection on November 22, 2023, surpassing the previous highest daily collection of N10 billion achieved on August 3, 2023 by N1.3 billion.
Also, the command collected N135 billion for the month of October, another record that is presently the highest monthly collection in its history.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba, described the collection as a fallout of teamwork, system audit, compliance and zero compromise, and urged the officers of the command to sustain the tempo of hard work.
He urged the officers to be motivated by the recent achievements, and do more to justify the confidence invested in the service, while also meeting the expectations of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, in the areas of revenue collection, legitimate trade facilitation and suppression of smuggling.
Jaiyeoba further urged members of the Apapa port community, including importers, licensed customs agents, chandlers, haulage operators and freight forwarders to make compliance and obedience to laws part of their civic responsibilities as citizens, according to a statement by the Customs Public Relations Officer, Apapa Command, Abubakar Usman.
He reiterated that his office is open for dialogue and suggestions on ways to improve service delivery and achieve government’s objectives.
Jaiyeoba lauded the various federal agencies at the ports for their cooperation while describing customs relationship with them as excellent, and all geared towards realising government goals.
“We are very optimistic about meeting our target for the year,” he said. “Even though, from the initial part of the year, it was not what was expected, but from what we have been recording in the last two months, I am very optimistic that we will get there.
“I keep telling some of my subordinates, who want to be discouraged, that it is not over until it is over. I believe it is achievable. What we need is the willpower, and the willpower is there. I know that by the end of the year we will have cause to celebrate.”
Noting that sister-security agencies have been cooperating with the command, he advised them to “stick to their standard operating procedures.” According to him, “the issue is just with these non-governmental organisations, but we will continue to tell them ‘let’s play the game by the rules.’
“Whether you are an agent or licensed chandler, there is a condition for your license. The condition for every operator is spelt out. If we all play according to the rules of the game, there will be less friction, and we will be able to achieve a secure port environment.
“I keep telling people that we are working because the port is secure. The onus is not on any of us but all of us to do what we need to do to secure the port.
“An agent who discovers that some counterparts are doing things that can undermine the security of the port should let us know so that we will address it right from the beginning before it causes a problem to everyone.”