The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has deposited N2.3 trillion in the federation account, surpassing its revenue target of N1.679 trillion set for 2021 by over N700 billion.

Timi Bomodi, the NCS’s Deputy National Public Relations Officer, said at a stakeholders and media briefing in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, that the Service had also integrated and automated over 90% of its activities.

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Mr. Bomodi stated that the achievement was made possible by the Service personnel’s diligence and hard work, as well as the support of key stakeholders.

“Despite the crippling effect of COVID-19, which has had negative effects on the socio-economic lives of people all over the world, the year 2021 has been eventful for NCS, as it has achieved major milestones.”

“The year began with high expectations in terms of revenue generation and fiscal policy enforcement, and was given the onerous task of collecting N1.679 trillion into the federation account based on the 2020 target achieved.”

“Through the diligence and hard work of its officers and the support of key stakeholders, the Service was able to achieve remarkable successes in all of its key performance indexes.” “In the current fiscal year, the NCS has already exceeded expectations in terms of revenue generation by exceeding the government’s target of N2.3 trillion,” he said.

Smuggling prevention

In terms of anti-smuggling, Bomodi claims that the NCS has made significant seizures of prohibited and dangerous items such as arms and ammunition, pangolin scales, and hard drugs.

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“In August, the Service seized 17,137 kg of pangolin scales, 44 kg elephant tusks, and 60 kg of pangolin claws, all worth over N22 billion,” he said.

“This was made possible by active collaboration between NCS, US, UK, and German officials, who assisted in the tracking of the suspicious shipment and resulted in the arrest and prosecution of some foreign nationals and their local collaborators.”

“In October, FOU operatives in Zone A seized 751 bullets hidden in garri sacks, and in September, arms, ammunition, and military uniforms were intercepted at Tincan port Lagos, to name a few.”

“Our warehouses are overflowing with seizures of rice, groundnut oil, used clothing, used vehicles, and other items in all border formations.”

“A landmark seizure of cocaine with a DPV of $54 million was made at Apapa Area 1 Command with the help of other sister agencies and the Nigerian Navy.” The illicit substance was discovered in one of the compartments of a bulk carrier of sugar, making this a one-of-a-kind seizure.

“97 containers carrying illicit, expired drugs and other offensive goods with a DPV of N17.5 billion were seized in the same command.”

According to Bomodi, customs officers across the country make arrests and seizures on a daily basis, highlighting the fact that they work in a highly non-compliant environment.

According to him, the NCS is looking forward to working in an environment that values respect for international trade principles and practices.

“We hope that by 2022, importers, exporters, and their agents will willingly comply and take full advantage of the NCS’s expedited clearance opportunities,” he said.

Project e-Custom

The e-customs project, which is set to launch in 2022, will provide end-to-end automation with the goal of eliminating physical contact, according to Bomodi.

“In collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Service has also launched the National Vehicle Registry VReg portal, which includes an automated vehicle valuation mechanism that authenticates the Vehicle Identity Number (VIN) and validates the make, model, and year of manufacture for easy Customs value assessment.”

“NCS has also introduced mobile applications for law enforcement officers on patrol to verify the authenticity of documents.” “This app will eliminate delays in verifying genuine Customs documents on our highways, making it more difficult for forgers to get away with their illegal acts while making law-abiding citizens’ journeys easier,” he explained.

Comptroller Malanta Yusuf, Controller, Apapa Command, said the Service has deployed tools like the fast-track scheme and provisional release, among others, to enable compliant traders to clear their consignments on time from the port without incurring unnecessary demurrage.

“The NCS is also ensuring that the use of selectivity in the trade supply chain is ensured by the deployment of scanners so that items that are suspicious are deployed for physical examination while those that are not suspicious are released outright or go through documentary checks,” he said.

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Malanta stated that the NCS would only facilitate legitimate trade while urging importers to make honest and transparent declarations.

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