Customs Surpasses Revenue Target, Nets N1.56tn in 2020

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CBN’s border intervention boosts daily collection to N9bn

James Emejo in Abuja

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), yesterday disclosed that it generated about N1.56 trillion in 2020, representing a surplus of N181.35 billion compared to the N1.38 trillion target for the year.

The positive performance which came despite the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic further surpassed the N1.34 trillion recorded in 2019.

Ali, however, described the feat as product of “resolute pursuit of what is right and willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by covid-19”.

According to a statement by Customs Public Relations Officer, Mr. Joseph Attah, which was made available to THISDAY, the service revenue generation profile which had been on continued rise annually is a direct fallout from ongoing reforms.

This is as the service further testified that the recent border closure and security drills at the borders helped to boost daily collections from N5 billion to currently N9 billion.

“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, the statement added.

The NCS however, commended the leadership of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the strategic intervention in the interest of the country.

The statement added that within the next six months, NCS would 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.

“Already Ministry of Finance has purchased three new Scanners. Interestingly, 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,” it stated.

The service also called on Nigerians, especially the business community to support the customs as the country’s borders are reopened to African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which took off on January 1 2024 – in order to benefit from the trade agreement and other cross border activities.

Attah, however, pointed out that the service efforts to prevent the entry of items that could compromise the security and well-being of Nigerians and economy had resulted in the seizures of 4,304 assorted items with a duty paid value of N28.28 billion.

According to him, the confiscated included arms, ammunitions, illicit drugs, used clothing, vegetable oil, frozen poultry and foreign rice among others which had “grave consequences on economy security and well being of Nigerians.”

He further attributed the revenue performance to 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 as well as

robust stakeholder sensitization resulting in more informed/voluntary compliance among others.

He said the partial border closure which had forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports further boosted revenue collection from ports.

He said 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 operationalization of joint border patrols at both sides of the border.

He said: “The teams are required to share intelligence and ensure prevention of transit of prohibited goods into the neighbor’s territory. Accordingly. the 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.