The Nigeria Customs Service on Thursday said it has generated N1.012 trillion revenue, the highest collection so far made by the Service.
Customs Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja said that the revenue collection shows an increase of N241.6billion over the N770.5billion target for the year and well above the N898.6billion collected in 2016.
Attah said despite the economic recession experienced earlier in the year with a low volume of imports, occasioned by restriction placed on 41 items from accessing forex, the revenue was achieved “by some strategic measures in terms of restructuring and repositioning of the Service put in place by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali”.
According to Attah, the high revenue collected was made possible through strategic redeployment of officers and men; overhauling and re-training of the operatives of the Customs Intelligence Unit; maximising the potentials of automation through monitoring, tracking infractions, blocking and recovering lost revenues; re-invigoration of anti-smuggling operations, setting up a Compliance Team to serve as the third layer of security and creating a regime of prompt reward for hard work and punishment for wrong-doing.
Other measures, according to the Customs spokesman, include transparent promotion process strictly based on merit; and deliberate and sustained sensitization stakeholder engagements across the country.
“These and other administrative measures of the current management of the Service continue to motivate the workforce towards selfless pursuit of NCS and indeed the nation’s goals.
“Ruthless anti-smuggling operations, which resulted in over 4000 assorted seizures with over N11billion in value also 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. These seizures include the spectacular 2,671 pump action rifles, dangerous drugs, rice, and vehicles,” he said.
Attah who noted that the Service would have performed better if not for paucity of funds disclosed that no fewer than six officers lost their lives in the process of enforcing the laws within the year under review.
“It is imperative to state that the Service would have performed better if not for paucity of funds. Despite this difficult situation, NCS strives to deliver, sometimes even at the risk of sustaining serious injuries and or even death. Sadly, in the process of enforcing the laws, six officers fell in the line of duty this year.
“While 2017 draws to an end with a rich harvest of seizures and high revenue collection for the federal government, the Service is not unmindful of the activities of unpatriotic elements that are still bent on sabotaging the fiscal policies of the government, especially in the areas of rice and vehicles smuggling through the land borders.
“Accordingly, the CGC has directed sustained onslaught against smugglers, especially at this festive period. He however in the spirit of the season, enjoyed all stakeholders to reflect on the values of patriotism and resolve to avoid all forms of smuggling.
“From the performances of the NCS in the out-going year 2017, it is clear that given the right leadership and better support from Nigerians, NCS will continue to play a more pivotal role in the security and economic well-being of the nation,” he added.