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It was a celebration galore for officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Services after announcing a revenue generation of N1.5trillion for last year.
Our Correspondent observed that the Customs Controllers in all the Lagos Commands, including other officers have remained in a celebration mood after the announcement of the total revenue generation Wednesday.
A senior customs officer who spoke to SHIPPING DAY on phone but pleaded anonymity said the revenue record calls for celebration considering the operating environment last year.
He cited the coronavirus pandemic, gridlock in Lagos ports where most of the revenue came and the EndSARS protest that affected operations.
The report of the revenue feat was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Service, Mr Joseph Attah who said that the amount realized was in excess of its target of N1.38 trillion set for the year and the sum of N1.3trillion generated in 2019.
According to him, the good revenue outing was despite the coronavirus pandemic that affected a lot of businesses.
Attah also said that the Federal Ministry of Finance has acquired three scanners for the Service, adding that the Central Bank has promised to acquire four more scanners for use in the ports.
On the revenue generation, the statement quoted the Comptroller General Hameed Ali, describing the success as a result of doing the right thing and the change adopted following the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the statement from Attah, “We also insist on strict enforcement of extant guidelines by the tariff and trade department as well as automation of the Customs process thereby eliminating vices associated with the manual process.
“Others are robust stakeholder sensitization resulting in more informed/voluntary compliance. Increased disposition of officers and men to put national interest above selves.
“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 20th August 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion to N5 billion but now NCS generates between N5 billion to N9 billion daily.
“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. Operationalization 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.
“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, ammunitions, 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.”
Our Correspondent observed that the Customs Controllers in all the Lagos Commands, including other officers have remained in a celebration mood after the announcement of the total revenue generation.