The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has recorded its highest revenue collection ever with a total generated revenue of N1.01tn in the 2017 fiscal year on Thursday.
The Public Relations Officer, NCS, Joseph Attah, who made this known during a press briefing in Abuja, said the revenue collection for this year is N241.68 billion higher than the target of N770.57 billion set for the 2017 year.
He described the revenue performance as spectacular, noted that the N1.01trillion was collected with about five working days to the end of the 2017 fiscal year.
The actual revenue, according to him, is above the N898.67bn collected in 2016.
He said the agency recorded the revenue collection despite the economic recession experienced earlier in the year with the low volume of imports which was caused by restrictions placed on 41 items from accessing the foreign exchange.
He said: “With dogged implementation of the Presidential mandate to restructure, reform and raise revenue, 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.”
To achieve the revenue collection target, Attah said the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, took some measures which include 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 maximizing the potentials of automation through monitoring, tracking infractions, blocking and recovering lost revenues; transparent promotion process strictly based on merit and deliberate stakeholder engagements across the country.
The Customs Spokesman disclosed that through the anti-smuggling operations of the service, the agency recorded over 4,000 assorted 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 said, “It is imperative to state that the service would have performed better if not for the paucity of funds.
“Despite this difficult situation, NCS strives to deliver, sometimes 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,” he said.
Mr Attah said with the year ending by next week, the service is not unmindful of the activities of those that have vowed to sabotage the fiscal policies of government through rice and vehicles smuggling through the land border.
To address this, he said the Comptroller-General has directed sustained onslaught against smugglers.