By Innocent Orok
Despite Nigeria’s closure of it borders against imports and exports activities.
The Nigeria Customs Service has given its allocation of revenue targets for the year 2020 to the closed Customs commands at the various border stations across the country.
The Nigeria government is yet to reopen its borders since it was closed in August 2019, even as the January 31st 2020 proposed date to reopen the borders has lapsed without a word from the government.
Surprisingly, as the border stations remained under lock and key for any form of business in the last seven months without any revenue yielding activities, the Comptroller General of the Service, Col Hameed Ali (rtd) has distributed revenue targets to the closed border stations.
The breakdown of the N2 Trillion revenue target for the 2020 fiscal year by the Customs to all its 36 Commands, Units and Formations across the country was contained in a circular dated 10th February 2020 and was addressed to all Area Controllers, FOUs and other formations in the Service.
According to the breakdown, Seme border command which has been closed for business since August 2019 is given a daily target of N157,014,169.49.
Its monthly and year target is N628,056,679.98 and N7,536,680,135.73 respectively.
While, Ogun 1 ( Idiroko) border is also given a daily target of N2,875,000, monthly target of N11,500,000 and N138,000,000 is the Command’s total target for 2020.
Already the Month of January is gone without the commands collection of any revenue.
Other commands like Borno/ Yobe, Adamwa and Katsina which have prominent borders like Jibya,Banki, Gamburu etc and which has long been shut due to Insurgents activities were also given revenue targets. Borno/ Yobe command is given N225,750,992.13.
According to circular number 04 T&T/2020 titled “Distribution of 2020 Fiscal Year Revenue Target to Area Commands” signed by DCG T.M. Isa of Tariff & Trade on behalf of the Comptroller General.
It reads “The CGC has graciously approved revenue generation targets for Area Commands which was arrived at based on Command peculiarities.
I am therefore directed to escalate to all Area Commands for immediate implementation”.
The Nigeria Customs Service has given itself the target of N2 Trillion for the year 2020 with a monthly target of N166,666,666,666.67, weekly target of N41,666,666,666,.67 and daily target of N5,952,380,952.38.
Recently the National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) during a chat with journalists in Lagos has condemned the setting of targets to customs commands, instead of trade facilitation, a situation he said will make officers to be more desperate.
Nwabunike also said over 2000 trucks of both inward and outward bound goods were trapped at Seme border alone and that the government should review the partial border closure policy to salvage genuine business people to carry on their businesses at the borders.