The Presidency 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.
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 re-training of the operatives of the Customs Intelligence Unit.Maximizing 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, e.t.c. These and other administrative measures of the current Management of the Service continues to motivate the workforce towards selfless pursuit of NCS and indeed the nation’s goals.
Ruthless anti-smuggling operations which resulted in over four thousand (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 e.t.c.
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, 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.