From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced a total revenue generation of N1,341,690,568,327.18 for year 2019.
The amount exceeded its target of N937,286,121,586.00 by over N400 billion, while also beating the 2018 revenue of N1,202,448,733,244.89 by N139,241,835,082.29.
The NCS also seized 30,906 assorted contrabands with a duty paid value (DPV) of N62.134 billion within the period.
The items included arms, ammunition, illicit drugs, used clothings, vegetable oil, frozen poultry and foreign rice, among others.
Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), attributed the success to the agency’s “resolute pursuit of what is right rather than being populist by compromising national interest on the altar of individual or group interests.”
In a statement on behalf of the CGC, the Customs Public Relations Officer, DC Joseph Attah, noted that the steady yearly rise in revenue was s result of “strategic deployment of officers strictly using the standard operating procedure.”
The other enablers included “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 agency also credited the partial border closure, which has forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports, to have raised revenue collection from ports.
According to Ali, “before the commencement of the border drill on August 20, 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion and N5 billion, but now NCS generates between N5 billion and N7 billion daily.
“The partial border closure is a decisive action against the challenging issue of trans-border crime and criminalities, fueled by the non-compliance 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.”
He assured stakeholders of the agency’s readiness to “strictly implement the outcome of the ongoing diplomatic engagements.”
Ali restated the agency’s commitment to nation building, while calling on Nigerians, especially the business community, to support the country’s drive for national security and an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.