NIGERIA Customs Service, NCS, has overshot its revenue target for the year by N241.6million despite the economic recession. NCS spokesman, Joseph Attah, who disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja yesterday, gave detailed insight as to how the service achieved the feat. According to him,
“With dogged implementation of the Presidential mandate to restructure, reform and raise revenue (3Rs), Nigeria Customs Service has recorded the highest revenue collection ever, of N1,012,259,006,779.74 with five more working days to the end of 2017. This spectacular performance in revenue collection shows N241,685,276,289.74 over the N770,573,730,490 target for the year and well above the N898,673,857,431.07 collected in 2016.” He continued: “Despite the economic recession experienced earlier in the year with low volume of imports, occasioned by restriction placed on 41 items from accessing forex, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) undertook some strategic measures in terms of restructuring and repositioning the Service for efficient service delivery which resulted in this historic revenue figure from the service this year.
“To achieve this feat, the CGC took the following measures among others: Strategic redeployment of officers and men; overhauling and retraining 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; a regime of prompt reward for hard work and punishment for wrong-doing; transparent promotion process strictly based on merit; deliberate and sustained sensitization/ Stakeholder engagements across the Country, etc.”
Attah said these and other administrative measures of the current NCS management continued 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 N11 billion 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 riffles, dangerous drugs, rice, vehicles, etc.” He further said “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, sometime even at the risk of sustaining serious injuries and or even death. Sadly, in the process of enforcing the laws, 6 Officers fell in the line of duty this year. “While 2017 draws to an end with 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 government, especially in the areas of rice and vehicles smuggling through the land borders.” Accordingly, he said the CGC has directed sustained onslaught against smugglers especially at this festive period. Attah, however, noted that in the spirit of the season, all stakeholders should reflect on the values of patriotism and resolve to avoid all forms of smuggling.