The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated the sum of N1. 562 trillion in the 2020 fiscal year.

A statement by the Public Relations Officer, Deputy-Controller Joseph Attah, in Abuja, Wednesday, indicated that the amount generated was over the target of N1. 380 trillion set for the organisation by the Federal Government.

Last year’s revenue was also in excess of the N1.342 trillion it generated in 2019, despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on the economy during the period under review.

The feat, Mr Attah, said was “as a result of the resolute pursuit of what is right and willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by COVID-19.”

He said that the service revenue generation profile has continued to rise, annually, as the ongoing reforms in the Service insist, especially its strategic deployment of officers, strictly using the standard operating procedure; strict enforcement of extant guidelines by the Tariff and Trade Department.

According to him, other strategies that aided the NCS were: automation of the Customs process thereby eliminating vices associated with the manual process; robust stakeholder sensitisation resulting in more informed/voluntary compliance; and increased disposition of officers and men to put national interest above selves.

He said that the partial border closure which has forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports also significantly contributed to raising revenue collection from ports.

“Before the commencement of the border drill on 20th August 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion to N5 billion but now NCS generate between N5 billion to N9 billion daily.

“Diplomatic engagements that took place during the partial land border closure yielded many positive results, including a commitment to comply with the ECOWAS Protocol on Transit. Operationalisation 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,” he added.

The image-maker said that the NCS would strictly implement the outcome of the diplomatic engagements as the land borders open for the movement of cargoes.

He said that intelligence gathered during the period and the introduction of the e-Customs whose components include installation of scanners at all entry points would enhance border security and boost national trade facilitation.

Mr Attah disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Finance has purchased three new scanners, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) also expressing commitment to purchasing four additional scanners and to establish the control centre for monitoring all scanning sites in their bid to boost the national economy, especially agricultural sector.

“This means that within the next six (6) months, NCS will have about seven (7) functional scanners to be mounted at strategic entry points even before the full deployment of e-Customs components which will see to the deployment of 135 modern scanners,” the spokesman said.

He also said that seizures of 4,304 assorted items with a duty paid value of N28.287 billion were recorded within the period under review.

According to him, “These seizures include arms, ammunition, illicit drugs, used clothing, vegetable oil, frozen poultry, and foreign rice among others that have grave consequences on economic security and well being of Nigerians.”