The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated N1.03 trillion in 2017, surpassing its target of N770.5 billion for the year.
The National Public Relations Officer of NCS, Mr Joseph Attah, made this known at a news conference in Lagos on Thursday. He said the Service also surpassed the revenue of N898.6 billion generated in 2016.
Attah said that some Nigerians had compared the 2017 revenue generated to that of 2014 which was N977 billion.
He said depreciation in naira value had led to the increase in revenue collected in 2017 compared to what was collected in 2014. Attah said it was imperative to state that such comparison could only be valid if the volume of trade and tariff remained the same between 2014 and 2017.
“In 2016 and 2017, the service experienced economic recession with 41 items removed from accessing Forex. Data reveals that though the volume of imports declined, collection per volume increased.
“For example, 956,574 vehicles were imported in 2014, 558,517 vehicles in 2015, 451,507 vehicles in 2016, and 399,556 vehicles were imported in 2017.
“Duty collected on vehicles in 2014 was N122 billion, N111 billion in 2016, and N137 billion in 2017 and this was possible because of the strict deployment of digital identification method which enabled officers to identify vehicles using the Mandatory Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).’’
He said in spite of 252,666 bags of rice given to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the NCS warehouses across the country were still filled with rice.
Attah said one of the warehouses was now awaiting court order for forfeiture to the Federal Government. He said the Comptroller-General of Customs, Retired, Col. Hameed Ali had in July 3, 2017 launched e-auction on in line with the Customs Excise Management Act (CEMA), Section 167 cap C45 LFN 2004.
Attah said the introduction of e-auction had ensured transparency and integrity in the auction process.
According to him, the introduction of e-auction is also aimed at eliminating abuse associated with manual process of the past.
He said the comptroller-general expressed happiness with the media toward the achievements, and expressed the hope that the Service would surpass the revenue collected in 2017.
Meanwhile, the Customs Area Controller, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Mohammed Garba said that the command on Thursday intercepted 27 vehicles worth more than one billion naira.
Garba said eight suspects were arrested along with the seizures and urged smugglers and customs agents operating in the South West Zone to desist from their unpatriotic act.
The controller said if the smugglers move to other zones, the unit would deploy its officers to complement the efforts of other officers to ensure that the smugglers do not escape.
He urged Nigerians to engage in legitimate business.