The Nigeria Customs Service exceeded annual revenue target to generate a total of N1.34tn revenue for the government in the 2019 fiscal year.
This is as contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the Public Relations Officer, Mr Joseph Attah, on Thursday.
The N1.34tn revenue generated by the Nigerian Customs exceeded the N937.28bn target which the Federal Government had set for the service in the 2019 fiscal period by over N403.72bn. This amount also surpassed the 2018 revenue of N1.2tn by N139.24bn.
Revenue generation by the Custom Service have continued to rise in the last three years from 2017 when it hit N1 trillion in excess of over N2.4 billion above the N770 billion target for the operational year. This performance saw an increase to N915.88bn in 2018 when the service generated N1.2trillion
From N937.28bn target of last year, the Senate increased the 2020 revenue target of the Nigeria Customs Service from N942.6 billion to N1.5trillion with a difference of N557.4 billion from the Executive proposal,.
The 2019 Custom revenue performance was attributed to resolute pursuit of strategic reforms as commented by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd). He added that the service was resolute in the pursuit of what was right rather than what was popular.
According to him, the reforms which raised the revenue include the strategic deployment of officers strictly using the standard operating procedure, strict enforcement of extant guidelines by the tariff and trade department, and the automation of the Customs process which kept away sharp practices associated with the manual process. Others are stakeholder sensitization resulting in voluntary compliance and increased disposition of officers and men to put national interest above personal interests.
More specifically, the revenue upsurge is directly linked to the ongoing partial border closure which stepped daily revenue from between N4 billion and N5 billion to between N5 billion and N7 billion.
According to the Comptroller-General of Customs, “The partial border closure is a decisive action against the challenging issue of trans-border crime and criminalities, fueled by the noncompliance to ECOWAS Protocol on transit of goods by neighboring countries,”
The partial border closure forced importers to direct their cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to go through the nation’s seaports and airports.
However, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed had said on Monday that Nigeria is currently is in talk with the neighboring countries with the hope of coming up with a structure to ensure secured borders for the our nation. She said this while speaking on the nation’s 2020 economic outlook on Good Morning Nigeria on NTA.
The Nigerian Custom Service statement is a confirmation of this. The service said; “The NCS hopes that the ongoing discussions with our neighbors will yield 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.”
While the Custom Service awaits the outcome, it has continued with the border drill resulting in large volume of seizures with duty paid value of N62.13bn. The 30,906 smuggled items seized included arms and ammunitions, illicit drugs, used clothing, vegetable oil, frozen poultry and foreign rice