Customs collects N903bn in 2015, blames CBN for revenue shortfall

Comptroller General of Customs, Hammed Ali said the Nigeria Customs Service collected a total of N903 billion in 2015 out of a target of N954 billion set for it by the federal government.

Ali who disclosed this on Wednesday while fielding questions from journalists after the decoration of newly promoted senior officers in Abuja, stated that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) forex restriction on the importation of 41 items was responsible for the shortfall of N240 billion recorded last year.

He said, “If we had added that to what we have generated it would have surpassed what we have, so that is the down side of why we were not able to meet the target in 2015.”

Ali expressed hope that the Service will surpass its target for 2016 in view of the tools already put in place by the management, adding that, “I hope also that government will once again look at those policies and see how they can be fine-tuned.”

He said part of the efforts put in place in ensuring that that the 2016 target is realized was his familiarization tour and visit to the various Commands where he urged officers to work harder as well as help the agency correct the bad impression the public has about it.

Meanwhile, Ali has charged the newly promoted officers to re-dedicate themselves to hard work and commitment to nation building through efficient and effective service delivery.

The CGC gave the charge after the decoration of members of the new management of the NCS at the Customs headquarters.

While congratulating them, he expressed happiness that the newly decorated officers were appointed purely based on merit devoid of lobbying and any external influence. 

The ceremony which marked formal constitution of a new management for the Service, brought on board six Deputy Comptrollers-General namely: Suleiman Idris, Ukaigwe Paul, Umar Iya, Ugo Daniel, Warikoru Austin and Adeyemo Grace. Also decorated were eight Assistant Comptrollers-General following a restructuring process that led to the retirement of some members of the former management. 

To the new team the CGC said “We must deliver on our mandate and work towards making 2016 the best year in the Nigeria Customs Service”.

“My mission is to make sure we clean ourselves of all the bad impression that we carry along, my mission is to ensure that we meet all the mandate set for us by the government and I believe that all of you will have no other mission than to fall in with that and make sure that 2016 is put on the record as one of the best years of the NCS.”

Responding on behalf of the newly promoted officers, Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs in-charge of Finance, Administration and Technical Service, Idris Suleiman expressed gratitude to God for providing the type of leadership in the nation and the NCS in particular.

He said with a leadership that leads by example as exemplified by the CGC, it becomes easy for well-meaning subordinates to key in and work towards the achievement of the Service mandate. 

While thanking the President and Commander in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Comptroller-General of Customs, DCG Suleiman assured the CGC of their unquestionable loyalty and dedication to the course of nation building through hard work and commitment to honest service delivery. 

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