Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said it generated N1,562,115,419,216.32 in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Service, Mr. Joseph Attah who disclosed this in a statement, noted that the cash was over the target of N1,380,765,353,462.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), according to the statement, described it as a result of the pursuit of what is right and willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by COVID-19.
Attah explained that the service revenue generation profile has continued to be on the rise annually as the ongoing reforms in the NCS insist on: strategic deployment of officers strictly using the standard operating procedure; strict enforcement of guidelines by the tariff and trade department and automation of the Customs process, thereby eliminating vices associated with the manual process.
The PRO noted that the strategies include robust stakeholder sensitisation resulting in more informed/voluntary compliance.
He added that increased disposition of officers and men to put national interest above selves.
The spokesman said the partial border closure, which has forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports raised revenue collection from ports.
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 to N9 billion daily.
The statement reads in part: “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. 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 neighbor’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.
“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. 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.
“NCS appreciates and commends the leadership of CBN for this strategic intervention in the interest of the nation.
“In the same vein, the Service efforts to prevent the entry of items that could compromise the Security of our citizens, Economy and the well being of our people resulted in the seizures of 4,304 assorted items with a duty paid value of N28,287,285,847.52.
“These seizures include arms, ammunition, 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.
“While we give assurances of total commitment to the course of protecting national security and economy, we call on Nigerians, especially the business community to support the NCS as our borders open to African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in order to benefit from the trade agreement and other cross border activities.”