By Seun Ibiyemi
The Nigeria Customs Service has generated the sum of N1,341,690,568,327.18 for the year 2019, surpassing the N937,286,121,586.00 target set for the year in 2019. This is even as the Service said it surpassed the N1,202,448,733,244.89 revenue generated in 2018 with a revenue figure of N139,241,835,082.29.
Commenting on the feat, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) described it as a result of the 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 Customs CG, “The service revenue generation profile has continued to be on the rise annually as the ongoing reforms in the Service insists 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.
“Increased disposition of officers and men to put national interest above selves.”
On how border closure aided increased revenue generation, Cool. Hameed Ali explained 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.
“Before the commencement of the border drill on 20th August 2019, revenue generation was between N4bn to N5bn, but now NCS generate between N5 billion to N7 billion daily due to the border closure policy of the government.
“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 the transit of goods by neighbouring Countries.
“NCS hopes that the ongoing discussions with our neighbours will yield a 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.
“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 include arms, ammunition, illicit drugs, used clothing, vegetable oil, frozen poultry and foreign rice among others that have grave consequences on economic 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.”