By Cecilia Ijuo, Abuja.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it has generated N1.293 trillion in the first six months of 2022 into the Federation Account.
The NCS Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi, said this at a news conference on Friday in Abuja.
He said the amount was an increase, compared to N1.004 trillion generated for the corresponding period in 2021.
He noted that the amount generated in 2022 surpassed the service’s achievements for 2021 by N48 billion, accounting for 28.8 per cent.
Bomodi said the revenue generation was remarkable, given the fact that only 116,691 Pre-Arrival Assessment Reports (PAARs) were issued, against 129,667 processed within same period of 2021.
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Headquarters of the Nigeria Customs Service for unveiling of our half-year scorecard.
“It comprehensively captures our activities for the period from January to June 2022.
“The revenue target given to the Nigeria Customs Service for the year 2022 is N3.019 trillion, exceeding the target for 2021 by 80.78 per cent.
“As it has become customary, the service remains focused and steadfast in its commitment to meeting the challenges of the moment.
“It is fully confident in its ability to innovate and adapt to a dynamic socio-economic environment,” he said.
Bomodi said that N156 billion was also generated into the non-federation account as collections, on behalf of other government agencies.
While giving a breakdown of the amount generated within the period under review, the PRO said that it was generated from excise, free trade zones and industrial incentives and anti-smuggling, among others.
On excise, free trade zones and industrial incentives, Bomodi said that excise duty was tax levied on the manufacture, sale and consumption of goods under excise control.
He said it was collected through 22 commands of the Service.
The PRO said that a total of N68 billion was collected from manufacturers of alcoholic beverages as well as cigarettes and tobacco, among other products
“In the month of June, the service began collections from extant traders producing carbonated and sugary drinks, newly added under Schedule Five of the CET.
“So far, the service has collected more than N1 billion from carbonated and sugary drinks in the month of June.
“Other revenues from telecommunications, like call and data and digital network services have yet to be collected.
“The service is expected to start collecting revenue on these products and services, as soon as the modalities for collection are put in place.
“Duties from these revenue sources are expected to boost our collections in the current year,” he said.
Besides, Bomodi said that out of the 42 free trade zones in Nigeria, only 25 were active, with 15 of them operating in Zone ‘A’, four in Zone ‘B’, five in Zone ‘C’ and one in Zone ‘D’.
He said that in addition to providing employment opportunities for Nigerians, the special economic zones were expected to engender transfer of technology and building of local capacity among others.
On enforcement and anti-smuggling, Bomodi said that in the period under review, various goods with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N39 billion were seized due to policy infringements.
He said that the top seven items seized were narcotics and other illicit drugs with a DPV of N8.8 billion, followed by foreign parboiled rice with a DPV of N8.3 billion.
The PRO said that illegal import of dangerous pharmaceuticals with a DPV of N7.6 billion were seized, including used clothing with a DPV of N4 billion and petroleum products with a DPV of N4 billion.
According to him, textiles and made up fabrics with a DPV of N3 billion and motor vehicles with a DPV of N2 billion were seized.
Bomodi said the DPV value of seizures in the current year exceeded the ones made in 2021 by N34.8 billion.
On other efforts made by the service in the area of illegal wildlife trafficking and trade, the PRO said that the service had collaborated with the United States Embassy in Nigeria.
He said that the service also collaborated with the British and German governments in creating a Special Wildlife Office
Bomodi said the collaboration had led to the arrest of 12 foreign and local suspects, confiscation of 1, 236.5 kilogrammes of pangolin scales and 145 kilogrammes of ivory.
According to him, all suspects have been charged to court and are awaiting conviction.
On anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism, Bomodi said that the service made seizures of 339,800 dollars, 12,000 pounds, 3.013 million riyal, 20,005 CFAr and 133 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards.
He said that seven persons were arrested in violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act and were handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
On staff training and welfare, Bomodi said that officers had continued to upgrade their skills through refresher courses at the various training colleges and at the Command and Staff College, among others.
He said that the trainings were designed to equip them with the knowledge and know-how to function efficiently under a 21st Century Customs administration.
“As we approach an era of 100-per-cent automation of all our services, we are mindful of the quality of training needed to manage both the transition and the sophisticated technological assets.
“The service has set out to improve on the living standards of its officers and men.
“To this effect, it has built new barracks and staff quarters across the four zones of the federation and provided bus services,” he said.
Bomodi said that the service had acquired new and rugged vehicles, capable of withstanding the rough terrains, particularly in the border areas.
“The service has continued to improve on its business processes through the introduction of innovative services that have simplified, harmonised and automated its core functions.
“One of the successes recorded so far is the VIN-Valuation protocol, which uses the Vehicle Identity Number as a guide for the payment of appropriate taxes,” he said.
He listed other areas of achievement to include stakeholder engagement, deployment of scanners and recruitment.
He assured Nigerians that the service would focus on fortifying risk management tools to minimise leakages and curtail activities of non-compliant traders, among others.
“We understand the important role of technology in this endeavour, that is why our focus is on actualising full automation in the concession agreement.
“The agreement is vetted by Infrastructure Concession Regulation Commission (ICRC) and signed with Trade Modernisation Nigeria Limited and our technical partners, Huawei Technologies Limited,” he said.
Bomodi said that the agreement would transform operations of the service by taking it to the same level with leading customs administrations.