The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Winifred Okon, told journalists in Lagos that the amount was far lower than the N1.3 billion recorded in July.She said that the Command was, however, making efforts to improve on its revenue drive.
She explained that several products had been removed from the Excise List of the Customs by the Federal Government as a strategy to encourage local manufacturers.
“Excise duty has been limited to just spirits, beer, stout and tobacco.
“Tobacco is not here in Lagos, so we only have beer, stout and small-scale businesses that produce spirits,’’ Okon said.
The de-excising, according to her, the products was done through gradual process.
Noting that the Command was not necessarily looking at revenue targets, as it was, according to her, using trade facilitation strategy to improve its revenue, the CAC said: “We now encourage these indigenous entrepreneurs through our forum. We encourage them to register with appropriate government agencies to enable them operate without fear.
“It is yielding results because when their businesses succeed they are able to pay their duties without trouble and that is a plus for our revenue drive.’’
She said that the Command’s interactive sessions with business owners revealed the challenges the business owners were facing, adding that it was only reasonable to encourage them.
“We found out that lately, the production level was low and the business owners ascribed it to challenges of getting ethanol, a major raw material they use.
“We cared to know because it is when the businesses operate that we can talk of revenue collection,‘’ Okon said.
She said that the Command still carried out intensive monitoring to ensure that government obtained revenue from businesses on the excise list.
Okon said that 16 excise traders were registered under the Command, adding that officials of the Command were still scouting for those hiding to brew.