Bulk cargo importation drops at Apapa port

David Adekunle, Lagos

A Customs officer at the Apapa port

The Nigerian Customs Service in Nigeria’s commercial centre, Lagos,has said that there has been a drop in bulk cargo importation from the Lagos Ports Complex (LPC) in Apapa.

He said the drop on the imported commodities was affecting revenues.

Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Willy Egbudin said this when maritime journalists paid him a courtesy visit in Lagos.

Egbudin stated that the Area Command under Apapa port was notable for bulk cargo importation but added that in the last couple of years, there had been a sharp drop in bulk cargo importation to the port, which in turn had also affected revenues.

According to him, bulk cargo importation is the major item that had boosted revenue collection of the command from inception.

The former Lilypond and Seme Command boss pointed out that from the figure collected so far, bulk cargoes alone stood at N5.6billion from the total N23.4billion revenue collected for January 2016.

He, however, described the N5.6 billion collected as a lean figure against corresponding years.

He also said other importation revenue generated by the command stood at N17.7billion.

In 2014, he said the command realized N301 billion as revenue but in 2015 it slightly came down to N288billion and an estimated 400billion is demanded from the command annually.

“Since we realize that the bulk cargoes are no longer coming the way it is supposed to …We are now making even more revenue in containerized and other cargoes imported to Apapa port”.

He noted that Tin Can Island port handles over 60% of containerized imports while Apapa port handles less than 40% of the same items.

“We are actually doing our best here in spite of the ugly odds. We are trying to make sure we don’t loss sight in revenue generation”, he added.

Egbudin stated that the target set aside for the command might be difficult to achieve but the command would do its best to ensure that substantial amount of revenue is generated for the federal government.

Speaking further, he added that between February 1st and 15th this year, the command had already collected N10.7billion, stressing that the second month of every year was always difficult, coupled with exchange rate issues.