By DAPO OLAWUNI
Following the recent increase in the revenue profile of the Apapa command of Nigeria Customs Service, the Area Controller, Compt Yusuf Malanta has said that the secrets of the game is about informing compliance on the trading public and not just to enforce compliance.
Since he assumed duty at the Apapa command, he revealed that the revenue profile has risen from N48billion to a whooping N78billion collected in a single month.
The Customs Area Controller said that the command does not frustrate importers with multiple alerts on their cargoes, as all alerting systems have been centralised, while a one-stop-shop has been created to treat infractions.
Compt Malanta also revealed that the command was using the fast track scheme to reward importers who have been compliant, in line with laid down principles of World Customs Organisation (WCO)
Speaking, Compt Malanta said “What I do is to look at the existing structure and see where there is a gap and I fix that gap immediately, when you look at the history of my revenue, when I came in here, I met the revenue at N48billion, the next month, I was able to get N52billion, the next month I raked N64billion, the following month was N66billion, this was the period we had good Friday and Easter Monday holidays for about four days
By the grace of God, today we are talking about N78billion”
“I am not stopping at that, because with the kind of management and structure that we have in the customs today, we have continued to preach compliance, it is when there is compliance that cargo throughput would be faster, and when this happens, declaration would be faster and revenue would increase automatically”
“The strategy we used is to inform compliance and not enforce compliance, how do I inform compliance for people to come back? One system I employed is that, once your cargo has no hitches or infractions, I made sure that it goes out of the port as quickly as possible. The issue of alert system is centralised, there is a one-stop shop to make sure that any infraction is recorded and treated holistically”
“Once an importer sees that his friend was able to take delivery of his consignment out of the port in two days, but himself that was trying to circumvent the system is still there after two weeks, he would like to be compliant next time with his importation”
“Today, the demurrage, the cost of freight and handling charges are high, so the best answer is to ensure that cargo throughput is made faster”
“We have also gotten a system called the fast track scheme for compliant traders, we award them, after a very long time of watching the system, we profile you and find out that there is no infraction within the trend, we then award you with the fast track system”
“When your cargo comes, from the PAAR office, it would go into registration, and from there, any delay is avoided, you are allowed to carry your cargo to your premises. This is a process laid down by WCO, not Nigeria alone” he said
The customs boss added that the rising profile of revenue collection at the command is also clearly based on the officers resilience and robust stakeholders compliance, as well as increased cargo throughput.