The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has called on Nigerians, especially the business community to support the Service as our borders open to African Continental Free Trade Agreement,(AfCFTA) in order to benefit from the trade agreement and other cross border activities.
The call is sequel to the declaration of the sum of N1,562,115,419,216.32 total revenue generated in the year 2020.
The amount is N1,380,765,353,462.00 over the sum of N1,342,006,918,504.55 generated in 2019 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commenting on this feat, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) said the outcome is a direct result of the resolute pursuit of what is right, and the willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by covid-19.
The service revenue generation profile has continued to be on the rise annually as the ongoing reforms in the Service focuses on, Strategic deployment of officers in strict compliance with 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.
The NCS noted that the partial border closure which has forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea ports and airports raised revenue collection from ports.
While reassurring of its total commitment to the course of protecting national security and economy, thr NCS explained that before the commencement of the border drill on 20th August 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion to N5 billion, and now between N5 billion to N9 billion is generated daily.
It also noted that 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. Accordingly, the Service has expressed its readiness to strictly implement the outcome of the diplomatic engagements as the land borders open for movement of cargoes.
Intelligence gathering and the introduction of the e-Customs whose components include installation of scanners at all entry points is expected to furtherenhance border security and boost national trade facilitation.
Already Ministry of Finance has purchased three (3) new Scanners, while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has also expressed commitment to purchasing four (4) Scanners and establish the control center for monitoring all scanning sites in their bid to boost national economy, especially the agricultural sector. This means that within the next six (6) months, NCS will have about seven (7) functional Scanners mounted at strategic entry points even before the full deployment of e-Customs components which will entail deployment of 135 modern Scanners.
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.