By Innocent Orok
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has generated the total sum of N1,341,690,568,327.18 for the 2019 year, just ended.
The amount generated is over the target of N937,286,121,586.00 set for the year 2019 and N139,241,835,082.29 over the sum of N1,202,448,733,244.89 generated in 2018.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd)has commended the feat achieved by the Service describing it as a result of resolute pursuit of what is right rather than being populist by compromising national interest on the altar of individual or group interests.
According to the Press statement issued by the National Public Relations Officer of the Service, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah the service revenue generation profile has continued to be on the rise annually as the ongoing reforms in the Service continued.
Attah said ” Strategic deployment of officers strictly using the standard operating procedure. Strick enforcement of extant guidelines by the tariff and trade department, automation of the Customs process thereby eliminating vices associated with the manual process and robust stakeholder sensitization resulting in more informed/voluntary compliance has aided the Service performance in the immediate past year 2019.
The statement also attributed “Increased disposition of officers and men to put national interest above selves.
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 as other contributing factors to the feat.
” Before the commencement of the border drill on 20th August 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion to N5 billion daily, but now NCS generate between N5 billion to N7 billion daily.
“The partial border closure is a decisive action against the challenging issue of trans-border crime and criminalities, fueled by the noncompliance to ECOWAS Protocol on transit of goods by neigbhouring Countries.
NCS hopes that the ongoing discussions with our neighbours will yield permanent solution to the challenges of border security.
“The Service wishes to express its readiness to strictly implement the outcome of the ongoing diplomatic engagements.” the release further stated.
On anti smuggling activities, the Customs said its recorded a total of 30,906 seizures valued at N62.134billion.
” In the same vein the Service efforts to prevent the entry of items that could compromise the Security of our citizens, national economy and the well being of our people resulted in the seizures of 30,906 assorted items with a duty paid value of N62,134,426,199.00.
“These seizures includes arms, ammunitions, illicit drugs, used clothings, vegetable oil, frozen poultry and foreign rice among others that have grave consequences on economy security and well being of Nigerians.
“While we give our assurances of total commitment to the course of nation building, we call on Nigerians, especially the business community to support the NCS on the ongoing drive to robustly contribute to National Security and create enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country.”