The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced a total revenue generation of N1.341 trillion for year 2019, beating its target of N937.3 billion by over N400 billion.
It also exceeded its 2018 revenue performance of N1.202 trillion by N139.2 billion, while making a total seizure of 30,906 assorted contraband items with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N62.1 billion within the year under review. These included arms, ammunition, illicit drugs, used clothing, vegetable oil, frozen poultry and foreign rice, among others.
The revenue performance was hugely boosted by the agency’s Apapa and Tin Can Island commands, which contributed N413.7 billion and N346 billion respectively in spite of the grueling gridlock on the Apapa port access roads and other trade inhibitors.
Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), attributed the success to a “resolute pursuit of what is right than being populist by compromising national interest on the altar of individual or group interests.”
In a statement on his behalf, the Customs Public Relations Officer, DC Joseph Attah, disclose 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-sensitisation, 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 since August 2019, which has forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the seaports 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.”
While assuring of the agency’s readiness to “strictly implement the outcome of the ongoing diplomatic engagements,” he expressed hopes that the discussions would “yield permanent solution to the challenges of border security.”
Ali further 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.