By Innocent Orok
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it generated the total sum of N1,562,115,419,216.32 for the year ended 2020. The amount generated is over the target of N1,380,765,353,462.00 for the year ended and also surpass the sum of N1,342,006,918,504.55 generated in 2019 despite the covid-19 pandemic.
According to a press statement by Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah, Spokesman of the Service,
commenting on this feat, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) described it as a result of resolute pursuit of what is right and willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by covid19 pandemic.
Ali said 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 and Increased disposition of officers and men to put national interest above selves”.
The statement further said 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 also help to 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 generates 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.
” 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”.
The Customs also stated that 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 establish 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.
The seizure includes 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 Area (AfCFTA) in order to benefit from the trade agreement and other cross border activities,” the NCS assured.