…Records N28bn seizures in one year
….Says 7 scanners to be installed before July
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Teusday disclosed that it generated over N1.56 trillion revenue to the Federation Account in 2020.
A statement by the Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Customs Service, Joseph Attah, Deputy Comptroller of Customs, disclosed that despite the Covid-19 pandemic that ravaged the world for most of 2020, the amount generated is over the 2020 revenue target of N1,380,765,353,462.00; and equally more than the sum of N1,342,006,918,504.55 generated by the Service in 2019.
The statement quoted the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ali (rtd) describing the feat as a result of resolute pursuit of what is right and willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by Covid-19.
Meanwhile, the NCS 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.
Col Ali said the partial closure of Nigeria international borders in August 2019, which has forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders came through the sea and airports during the period of the closure and raised revenue collection from ports.
According to him, before the commencement of the border drill on August 20, 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion to N5 billion but now NCS generate between N5 billion to N9 billion daily.
He noted that 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 and operationalisation 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 neighbour’s territory. Accordingly 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,” he said.
National Mail learnt that already the Federal Ministry of Finance has purchased three new scanners, this is even as 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,” Col Ali said.
He further expressed NCS appreciation of the intervention of the Central Bank in the interest of the nation.
The CGC also disclosed that the Service efforts to prevent the entry of items that could compromise national security, economy and the well being of Nigerians resulted in the seizures of 4,304 assorted items with a duty paid value of N28 billion.
These seizures include 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.
He assured of the Service total commitment to the course of protecting national security and economy, even as he called on Nigerians, especially the business community to support the NCS as the the shut borders open to African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in order to benefit from the trade agreement and other cross border activities.