It has been good news all year round from the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) with its doggedness and excellent performance as the agency announced N1.012 trillion as revenue for 2017, whopping 24% above its targetted revenue for the year.
In a briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, the Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah attributed the feat 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).
“Nigeria Customs Service has recorded the highest revenue collection ever, of N1.012trn with five more working days to the end of 2017,” he said.
According to Attah, the performance in revenue collection shows N241.68bn (23.9 percent) increase over the N770.5bn target for the year, well above the N898.67bn collected in 2016. This achieved despite the economic recession experienced earlier in the year with low volume imports, occasioned by the restriction on 41 items from accessing the foreign exchange.
The strategies employed by the Comptroller-General 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.
In 2017, over 4,000 assorted seizures with over N11bn in value including 2,671 pump action rifles and 13,000 metric tonnes of rice were seized by the customs. The service recorded injuries and 6 death of officers during the year.
“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.