The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has generated N1.012 trillion as revenue, exceeding the N770.5 billion target it set for 2017 by about 23.9 percent.
NCS’ Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah, in a briefing at the headquarters in Abuja on Thursday said the Service achieved the feat due to the dogged implementation of the Presidential mandate to Restructure, Reform and Raise revenue (3Rs) by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd).
He said: “Nigeria Customs Service has recorded the highest revenue collection ever, of N1.012trn with five more working days to the end of 2017.”
Mr Attah noted that the performance in revenue collection shows N241.68bn (about 23.9 per cent) increase over the N770.5bn target for the year, and that it was well above the N898.67bn collected in 2016.
He said it was despite the economic recession experienced earlier in the year with low volume imports, occasioned by restriction on 41 items from accessing foreign exchange.
Among the strategies taken by the Col. Ali to raise the revenue include strategic redeployment of officers and men, overhaul and re-training operatives of the Customs Intelligence Unit, and intensified anti-smuggling exercise through the Compliance Team.
Others are prompt reward for hard work and punishment for defaulters, transparent and merit-based promotion, stakeholders’ sensitisation, and maximising automation through monitoring, blocking and recovering lost revenues.
He said the ruthless anti-smuggling operations resulted in over 4,000 assorted seizures with over N11bn in value in 2017 including 2,671 pump action rifles and 13,000 metric tonnes of rice.
“It helped to increase levels of compliance in terms of honest declarations and correct payment of duties by traders to avoid loss of their goods and possible jail term,” he said.
The Service also recorded injuries and lost six Officers in the process of enforcing the law during the year even as it noted that some unpatriotic elements are still sabotaging government policies especially with the smuggling of rice and vehicles through the land borders.
“The CGC has directed sustained onslaught against smugglers especially at this festive period. He however in the spirit of the season, enjoined all stakeholders to reflect on the values of patriotism and resolve to avoid all forms of smuggling,” Attah confirmed