From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Nigeria Customs Service has computed its revenue profile of 2020, disclosing that it generated N1,562,115,419,216.32.
The Spokesman of Customs, Joseph Attah, who made the disclosure in a statement noted that the figure surpassed its target of N1,380,765,353,462 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The figure also exceeds N1,342,006,918,504.55 generated in 2019.
Attah quoted the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) as describing the feat as a result of resolute pursuit of what is right and willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by COVID-19.
“The Service revenue generation profile has continued to be on the rise annually as the ongoing reforms in the Service insist on:
Strategic deployment of officers strictly using the standard operating procedure; Strict enforcement of extant guidelines by the tariff and trade department.
Automation of the Customs process thereby eliminating vices associated with the manual process; Robust stakeholder sensitization resulting in more informed/voluntary compliance.
Increased disposition of officers and men to put national interest above selves”, the statement read.
Attah added that the partial border closure which forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports raised revenue collection from ports.
“Before the commencement of the border drill on 20th August 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion to N5 billion but now NCS generate between N5 billion to N9 billion daily.
“Diplomatic engagements that took place during the partial land border closure yielded many positive results, including commitment to comply with the ECOWAS Protocol on Transit. Operationalization of joint border patrols at both sides of the border.
“The teams are required to share intelligence and ensure prevention of transit of prohibited goods into the neighbor’s territory. Accordingly, the Service wishes to express its readiness to strictly implement the outcome of the diplomatic engagements as the land borders open for movement of cargoes”.
The Customs Spokesman further explained that intelligence gathered during the period and the introduction of the e-Customs whose components include installation of scanners at all entry points will enhance border security and boost national trade facilitation.
“Already, the Ministry of Finance has purchased three new scanners. Interestingly, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has also expressed commitment to purchasing four scanners and established the control center for monitoring all scanning sites in their bid to boost national economy, especially agricultural sector. This means that within the next six months, NCS will have about seven functional Scanners to be mounted at strategic entry points even before the full deployment of e-Customs components which will see to the deployment of 135 modern scanners.
“NCS appreciates and commends the leadership of CBN for this strategic intervention in the interest of the nation.
“In the same vein, the Service efforts to prevent the entry of items that could compromise the Security of our citizens, Economy and the well being of our people resulted in the seizures of 4,304 assorted items with a duty paid value of N28,287,285,847.52.
These seizures include arms, ammunitions, illicit drugs, used clothing, vegetable oil, frozen poultry and foreign rice among others that have grave consequences on economy security and well being of Nigerians.
“While we give assurances of total commitment to the course of protecting national security and economy, we call on Nigerians, especially the business community to support the NCS as our borders open to African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in order to benefit from the trade agreement and other cross border activities”, Attah explained.