Customs collects 1.3trn revenue, seizes N62bn contraband in 2019 

Customs law outdated, says Comptroller-General

Hameed Ali, Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service.

 

The Nigeria Customs Service said it generated the sum of N1.341 trillion in 2019 even as it disclosed that 30,906 various contraband items with a duty paid value of N62 billion were also seized during the period under review.  

Public Relations Officer of NCS, Joseph Attah, said in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos on Thursday that the amount generated is over the N969.8 billion revenue target set for the year 2019 and N139 billion higher than the sum of N1.2 trillion collected in 2018. 

Attah quoted the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, as describing the collected revenue as a “result of resolute pursuit of what is right rather than being populist by compromising national interest on the altar of individual or group interests”. 

According to him, the service revenue generation profile has continued to be on the rise annually as the ongoing reforms in the Service “insists on 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 said the partial closure of the country’s land border, which has forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports, also contributed to the rise in revenue. 

“Before the commencement of the border drill on 20th August 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion to N5 billion but NCS generates between N5 billion to N7 billion daily.

“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 neigbhouring countries.

“NCS hopes that the ongoing discussions with our neighbours 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.

“In the same vein the Service efforts to prevent the entry of items that could compromise the security of our citizens, national economy and the well being of our people resulted in the seizures of 30,906 assorted items with a duty paid value of N62,134,426,199.00.

“These seizures include arms, ammunitions, illicit drugs, used clothings, vegetable oil, frozen poultry and foreign rice among others that have grave consequences on economy security and well being of Nigerians. 

“While we give our assurances of total commitment to the course of nation building, we call on Nigerians, especially the business community to support the NCS on the ongoing drive to robustly contribute to national security and create enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the country,” the Customs spokesman said.