The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that it generated the sum of N1,562 trillion in revenue for the year 2020, exceeding the target by about N181bn.
According to a press statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Service, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah, the last year’s revenue generation is higher by N22bn than the N1.342bn the Service generated in 2019, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commenting on this feat, the Comptroller General (CG) of the NCS, Col. Handed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd), described it as a result of resolute pursuit of not only what is right, but also a willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the statement, the annual rise of of the NCS’s revenue generation profile has been attributed to reforms which consist in 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 processes, thereby eliminating vices associated with the manual process. Others are robust stakeholder sensitization resulting in more informed/voluntary compliance and increased disposition of officers and men to put national interest above selves. It noted that before the commencement of the border drill which saw a closure of the land borders from August 20, 2019, revenue generation was between N4bn and N5bn but that NCS now generates between N5bn and N9bn daily.
NCS also said within the next six months, there will be seven functional scanners for screening of goods at the country’s entry points while it targets 135 modern scanners in all for the deployment of the e-Customs scheme.
Explaining further, Customs said among the seven scanners, the Federal Ministry of Finance has purchased three while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has committed to purchasing four scanners and to establish the control centre for monitoring all scanning sites.
The CG intimated further that the partial border closure which has forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports raised revenue collection from ports. He added that 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, and the operationalization of joint border patrols at both sides of the border and sharing of intelligence by neighbouring countries.
While preventing entry of items that could compromise security, economy and the wellbeing of Nigerians, NCS said it seized 4,304 items with a duty paid value of N28.3bn. They include arms, ammunition, illicit drugs, used clothing, vegetable oil, frozen poultry and foreign rice, among others.
The NCS, according to the statement, expresses sentiments of assurance and total commitment to the cause of protecting national security and economy, and calls on Nigerians especially the business community for their support ‘as our borders are open to African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in order to benefit from the trade agreement and other cross border activities’.