The Nigeria Customs Service has disclosed the driving force behind its unprecedented collection of the 2017 revenue which stands at N1,037,102,179,400.58 as at December 31st, 2017.
Still basking in the euphoria of the huge collection amidst the economy that is slowly getting out of recession, Comptroller-General of Customs, Col.(rtd) Hammed Ali, declared that the feat was made possible through creative policies, automation/ICT deployment and Enforcement of VIN as well as strict adherence to rule of law and provisions of the Customs and Excise Management Act(CEMA).
Speaking through Deputy Comptroller of Customs Joseph Attah who is the spokesman of the service, the Customs high commander highlighted the main planks on which the 2017 performance rested.
According to him, over 2.3million cars were imported from 2014-2017, 421 trailers of Rice were sent to IDP Camps, 4, 492 seizures with DPV of N12.8b were made, 207 smugglers were arrested while e-auction of vehicles realised N272.1m from 646 cars won by 646 winners.
Speaking in Lagos, DC Joseph Attah said the revenue performance of the service in 2017 was boosted by its strict adherence to the extant rules in CEMA.
In compliance to the Presidential directive that all seized perishable items be sent to Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, Camps in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and Edo states, Attah said the National Logistic Committee was responsible for distribution while the Nigerian Army Corps of Supply and Transport transports allocated items from government warehouses to the IDP camps.
According to the Customs image maker, 252, 666 bags of rice valued at N3.8billion, 82, 140 kegs of vegetable oil estimated at N985.6m were donated by the Customs to the four IDPs camps last year.
Also sent were seized used clothes, shoes, bags, wrappers, soap, insecticides, tomato paste, boxers, blouses, hijabs and praying mats.
Other items sent by Custom include, jeans trousers, chinos trousers, chocolates, condensed milk, maggi cubes, china tea amongst others.
A 40ft container load of Tilapia frozen fish was also among items donated by the Customs to IDPs from seizures made by Customs in 2017.
Attah also disclosed that the E-auction was introduced by Customs management to dispose other seized items in a transparent manner devoid of controversies.
Launched July 3, 2017 by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (rtd), the Customs spokesman said the e-auction opens from 12noon Mondays and closes at 12noon Wednesdays weekly.
The E-auction, Attah disclosed, has generated N272.1m from 5, 454 persons that registered, 4, 865 that bided for items and payments by the lucky 646 who won.
The Customs image maker stated that notwithstanding economic recession witnessed in the country and 41 items removed from Forex list, stringent measures introduced and adopted by Customs management including unwavering stance on discipline were factors that translated into the achievements recorded by Customs last year.
According to him, rice import from which N56, 804, 290, 474. 00 was recorded in 2014, brought in N264, 852, 633.00 in 2017.
Also, whereas the total number of vehicles imported in 2017 was lower than the figures for 2014, 2015 and 2016, the duty collected in 2017 was higher than previous years owing to deployment of digital platforms which enabled Customs officers to track Vessels using the mandatory Vehicle Identification Number, VIN.
Attah pointed out that in 2017, there were reduction/outright removal of duty payment on national projects such as Agriculture and other developmental projects of the Federal Government.
Therefore, the successes of 2017, Attah declared, came from hard work and commitment to national duty by officers and men of the Service.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Ali -led management is not in competition. Customs believes records are made to be broken. As performance of 2017 has broken previous records, we look forward to the breaking of 2017 record in 2018 or by any other management of Customs” Attah concluded.