The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Thursday, said it has generated N343 billion in revenue between July and August 2023.
The acting Comptroller-General of the NCS, Bashir Adeniyi, disclosed this on Thursday while speaking to journalists at a press conference to mark his first 100 days in office.
On 19 June, President Bola Tinubu appointed Mr Adeniyi as acting CG of the NCS.
Decorating Mr Adeniyi at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Vice President Kashim Shettima described his appointment as a morale booster for officers in the service.
Speaking on Thursday, Mr Adeniyi said one of his early achievements has been a remarkable boost in monthly revenue collection.
“We’ve witnessed a substantial increase, with an average monthly collection of N202 billion in the first half of the year that concluded in June, surging to an impressive N343 billion in the past two months (July and August). This outstanding growth amounts to a remarkable 70.13 per cent increase in revenue collection.
“I’m delighted to announce that we’ve consistently exceeded the monthly target collection of 307 billion Naira, marking a remarkable departure from previous performances,” Mr Adeniyi said.
He explained that the ongoing revenue recovery review activities have contributed an additional N8 billion during this period, underlining his commitment to revenue generation.
Subject to unforeseen circumstances, he said, the service’s aim is to sustain and even expand this momentum until the end of the year.
“This commitment is driven by our resolve to minimise the deviation from the target, especially in light of the substantial shortfalls recorded during the first half of the year,” he said.
Battle against smuggling
He noted that in the ongoing battle against smuggling, the NCS had achieved impressive results over the past eight months.
“With a total of 1,763 seizures, valuing a substantial N11.9 billion in duty paid value, we have successfully intercepted various contraband items, including arms, ammunition, illicit drugs, substandard pharmaceuticals, and other prohibited goods that pose grave risks to our citizens.”
These seizures, Mr Adeniyi said, accompanied by the apprehension of 62 suspects undergoing legal procedures, underscore the commitment to tackling smuggling and safeguarding the communities.
Notably, he said a significant surge in impactful seizures, especially involving arms, ammunition, and drugs, has occurred in the past two months, reinforcing its resolve to combat these illegal activities.
“We forged stronger alliances and fostered an environment of trust and cooperation among our stakeholders including the Public and Private sectors as well as our international partners.
“We are on the verge of introducing multiple cutting-edge solutions to support our enforcement strategies starting with the signing of an MOU later today that seeks to put vehicle smugglers out of business for good.”
He also said the Customs prioritised stakeholder engagement.
He said his organisation has also identified key performance indicators (KPIs) supported by concrete data.
“We will closely monitor and report on our monthly revenue collection to track our performance,” he said.
He added: “It is essential to acknowledge that despite our early successes, we have encountered certain challenges during the initial phase of implementing our policy thrust.”
These challenges, he said include resistance to change, bureaucratic bottlenecks, dissonance in fiscal and monetary policies, the need to reorient the mindset of some officers and stakeholders, and the persistent issue of smuggling.
Additionally, he said the dynamic nature of international trade and emerging threats necessitates constant adaptation and innovation.
Moreover, he said any reluctance among officers and stakeholders to embrace a vision for the Nigeria Customs Service could undermine the synergy required for effective collaboration and innovation.
“Smugglers continually adapt their tactics, making it crucial for us to stay ahead of them through innovative strategies and increased cooperation with relevant agencies.
“However, I want to assure you that these challenges are not insurmountable.
“We are committed to addressing them proactively and leveraging them as opportunities for growth and improvement. Our journey towards consolidation, collaboration, and innovative solutions demands resilience and adaptability, and we are fully prepared to meet these challenges head-on,” Mr Adeniyi said.
Looking forward, he said, he envisions an NCS that is not only the most efficient and service-driven government organ but also a pivotal driver of national economic growth and border security.
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