The Nigerian Customs Service said it broke a record in revenue collection, making N486 billion in six months as against N385 billion in 2016.
Joseph Attah, spokesman for the Nigerian Customs Service told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday that the amount realized is higher than N385 billion generated the same period of 2016.
Mr Attah said the service also recorded 3,798 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of over N7 billion from January to June.
The spokesman said the agency made a seizure of 3,106, with a DPV of over N4 billion within the same period in 2016.
Mr Attah attributed the increase in revenue collection and seizure to the Comptroller-General of Customs zero tolerance on smuggling and the support given to officers and men to perform effectively.
“You will recall that around November 2016 to February, the CGC embarked on decisive reforms, and there was massive redeployment of officers and men.
“Also, there was the establishment of compliance team that is beefing up security at the borders, to block all non-revenue leakages.
“This is yielding result because when you block revenue leakages, when you effectively police the border, and deploy men and resources, what happens is that more smugglers are intercepted, more seizures are made.”
He said that when there was an increase in the level of compliance, it would boost the revenue collection of the service.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, had earlier disclosed that the service generated N720 billion in 2016.
He made this known while defending the budget of the service before the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff on Monday in Abuja.
It was a subsidiary budget defence for Nigeria Customs Service as a revenue generating agency of government.
Ali said that the approved revenue target for 2016 was N937 billion comprising of 862 billion for the federation and N75 billion for non-federation.
He added that the service, however, collected total revenue of N720.7 billion or 77 per cent during the period.
He stressed that the revenue collected was with a negative variance of N 216.6 billion or 23 per cent when compared with the target for the year.
The comptroller-general noted that the revenue performance of N720.7 billion in 2016 had a negative variance of N13.6 billion or 1.9 per cent when compared with N734 billion collected in 2015.
”During the period under review the service also collected the sum of N177.93 billion as VAT on imports thereby bringing the total collection to N898.67 billion.
”The shortfall in the performance is due to the fact that no revenue was collected on luxury items and polished rice levy because of lack of legal backing to enforce collection of luxury items and no importation of polished rice.
”Also responsible is restriction of 41 items from accessing foreign exchange at official window as well as high exchange rate of naira against other foreign currencies increased the tax base of goods imported and reduced volume of trade.
”The scanners at the various Customs scanning sites are not functioning. This factor has adversely contributed to the services inability to carry out effective examination for selected consignments.
“Presently, only two commodities, cigarette and alcoholic beverages are under excise control and this did not help in the achievement of the N63.8 billion excise revenue target in the 2016 budget.
“The porous nature of the nation’s borders encourage smuggling activities and this constitutes some reasonable setbacks in the 2016 revenue collected,” he said.