Customs 2017 revenue rises to N1.37tn
The Nigeria Customs Service has announced that five days to the end of 2017, it generated additional N25bn to bring its total revenue generated for the year to N1.37tn.
The service had announced earlier that it generated a total of N1.12tn between January and December 26.
While briefing journalists in Lagos on Thursday about the activities of the service in 2017, the Public Relations Officer, NCS, Mr. Joseph Attah, stated that the revenue was made possible through the strict deployment of the digital identification method, which enabled officers to identify consignments such as vehicles, using the mandatory Vehicle Identification Number.
He said that declarations on vessels increased significantly in 2017 due to the use of digital application to locate vessels on Nigerian waters and request for payment of appropriate duties as data of the vessels were available on the digital platform.
According to him, the service generated this revenue against the backdrop of several challenges, including the ban on 41 items of import from access to foreign exchange.
“For instance, rice which raked in N56.8bn in 2014, contributed only N265m to the Customs revenue in 2017,” he said.
Attah pointed out that the enforcement of fiscal policies in 2017 led to a decrease in the average duty rate from 12.54 to 11.1 in line with the lowering of duty rates for national projects in the agriculture and the automotive sectors.
The service, according to him, also battled paucity of funds, as the National Assembly reportedly refused to pass the NCS budget for the past owing to the faceoff between the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.) and the Senate over his refusal to wear the Customs uniform.
Attah said the service had been operating with intervention funds from the government.
Another challenge faced by officers was attacks and sabotage from smugglers which led to the death of six officers, according to the Customs PRO.
Giving further details of the activities of the NCS in the year under review, Attah said the service recorded 4,492 seizures amounting to N12.7bn.
He stated that the seizures included 2,671 pump action riffles, dangerous/illicit drugs, vehicles, rice and others, adding that 207 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures and were currently undergoing trial in court.
Five officers of the NCS were also dismissed in connection with the 661 pump action rifles intercepted in January 2017.
The five Customs officers, he noted, were handed over to the authorities and were undergoing prosecution.
On what happened to the seized items, the NCS PRO said the food items had been distributed to the Internally Displaced Persons camps in Edo, Borno, Adamawa and Yobe in line with a 2016 presidential directive.
He gave the breakdown of the items distributed to the IDP camps as 421 trailers of rice (252,666 bags) worth N3.8bn; and 82,140 of 25-litre gallons of vegetable oil worth N985.6m, among others.
Attah stated, “Despite tonnes of rice and other relief items already transferred to the IDP camps, NCS warehouses across the country are still filled with rice. This only shows that the sustained onslaught against unrepentant rice smugglers continues to yield positive results.
“The ones in the warehouses now are either awaiting court condemnation/forfeiture to the Federal Government or have been already allocated to governments of the affected states who pay the Army Corps of Transport and Logistics for their transportation to the IDP camps.”
He added that the service also auctioned 646 cars and generated N272.1m in revenue from the use of the e-auction portal.