The Nigeria Customs Service on Wednesday announced that it generated the sum of N1, 562,115,419,216.32 in revenue for the year 2020.
Customs Spokesman, DC. Joseph Attah, disclosed in a statement that the amount collected for 2020 surpassed the set target of N1, 380,765,353,462.00 as well as being more than the N1, 342,006,918,504.55 generated in 2019, despite the covid-19 pandemic.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) was quoted as crediting the feat to “the resolute pursuit of what is right and willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by covid-19.”
Attah said that the revenue generation growth resulted from factors including the “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.”
He added that the partial border closure forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports, thus raising revenue collection from the ports.
The spokesman disclosed that before the commencement of the border drill on 20th August 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion to N5 billion daily, but now the Service generates between N5 billion to N9 billion daily.
“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,” Attah said.
Attah said that on the operationalization of the joint border patrols at both sides of the border, the teams were required to share intelligence and ensure prevention of transit of prohibited goods into the neighbor’s territory.
He disclosed that the Customs Service remains ready and committed to strictly implement the outcome of the diplomatic engagements as the land borders open for movement of cargoes.
He said that the Customs holds intelligence gathered during the period and the introduction of the e-Customs whose components include installation of scanners at all entry points high, to enhance border security and boost national trade facilitation.
Attah also disclosed that the Ministry of Finance already purchased three new scanners for use by the Customs Service in their operation at the ports, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also expressing commitment to buy additional 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 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.
According to the spokesman, the Customs operations that prevented the entry of items that could compromise the security of citizens, economy and the well being of the people resulted in the seizures of 4,304 assorted items with a duty paid value of N28, 287,285,847.52.
The seizures, Attah said, 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.
The Customs Service pledged commitment to protecting national security and the economy and sought cooperation and support, particularly from the business community as the nation’s borders open to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), to ensure Nigeria benefits from the trade agreement and other cross border activities.