By Adedapo Adesanya
Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Mr Hammed Ali, has disclosed that the service generated revenue totalling N1,341,690,568,327.18 in 2019 despite closure of the country’s land borders in the year.
In a statement released by the Customs Public Relations Officer, DC Joseph Attah, it was stated that the revenue exceeded its target of N937,286,121,586 by over N400 billion. It was further stated that the amount generated last year was higher than the 2018 figures, N1,202,448,733,244, indicating an overflow of N140 billion.
Mr Ali noted that the border closure was a blessing in disguise to Nigeria because more money was made. “Before the commencement of the border drill on August 20, 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion and N5 billion, but now, the Nigerian customs generates between N5 billion and N7 billion daily.
“The partial border closure is a decisive action against the challenging issue of trans-border crime and criminalities, fuelled by the non-compliance to ECOWAS Protocol on transit of goods by neighbouring countries,” he added.
The Comptroller-General noted that as a result of the closure, smuggling activities became more difficult as the customs clamped down on goods, adding that 30,906 various contrabands were seized with a duty paid value (DPV) of N62.134 billion within the period under review.
He added that items confiscated included arms, ammunition, illicit drugs, used clothings, vegetable oil, frozen poultry and foreign rice, among others.
He further said that certain measures were put in place to raise the revenue, pointing out that customs was resolute in its pursuit of what is right rather than compromising national interest for individual interests.
He added that some of these measures include, “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.”
On border security, the customs boss revealed that there were continuous discussions with neighbouring countries on ways to comply and find solution to border solutions.
He reiterated the customs was dedicated to nation building, and called the business community in the country to support the country’s drive for national security and an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
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