The Nigeria Customs Service announced on Thursday that it recorded its highest revenue collection ever with a total of N1.01tn in the 2017 fiscal year.
The Public Relations Officer, NCS, Mr. Joseph Attah, said this during a press briefing held at the Customs headquarters in Abuja.
Attah, who described the revenue performance as spectacular, noted that the N1.01tn was collected with about five working days to the end of the 2017 fiscal year.
He said the revenue collection for this year was N241.68bn higher than the target of N770.57bn set for the 2017 year.
The actual revenue, according to him, is above the N898.67bn collected in 2016.
Attah stated that the agency recorded the revenue collection despite the economic recession experienced earlier in the year with low volume of imports, which was caused by restrictions placed on 41 items from accessing foreign exchange.
“With dogged implementation of the presidential mandate to restructure, reform and raise revenue, the Nigeria Customs Service has recorded the highest revenue collection ever of N1,012,259,006,779.94 with five more working days to the end of 2017,” he noted.
To achieve the revenue collection target, Attah said the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.) took some measures, including the strategic redeployment of officers and men of the service, overhauling and retraining of operatives of the Customs intelligence unit, and a regime of prompt reward for hard work and punishment for offenders.
Other measures are maximising the potential of automation through monitoring, tracking infractions, blocking and recovery of lost revenues; and transparent promotion process strictly based on merit and deliberate stakeholder engagements across the country.
Attah said through the anti-smuggling operations of the service, the agency recorded over 4,000 seizures worth over N11bn in value.
The seizures, according to him, include 2,671 pump action rifles, dangerous drugs, rice and vehicles, among others.
He stated, “It is imperative to state that the service would have performed better if not for paucity of funds.
“Despite this difficult situation, the NCS strives to deliver, sometime even at the risk of sustaining serious injuries and even death. Sadly, in the process of enforcing the laws, six officers fell in the line of duty this year.”
Attah added that with the year ending next week, the service was not unmindful of the activities of those that had vowed to sabotage the fiscal policies of government through rice and vehicles’ smuggling through the land borders.
To address this, he said the comptroller-general had directed sustained onslaught against smugglers.