By Godfrey Bivbere & Precious Iyomere
Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has surpassed the N596 billion target set for it by the federal government, collection N602 billion between January and October this year.
The amount shows an increase of N6 billion over and above the target set for it even with two months left to go in the year.
According to a statement made available to Vanguard, quoted the Comptroller-General of Customs Dikko Inde Abdullahi to have disclosed this in Abuja at the monthly Revenue Strategy meeting held with Customs Management and Area Comptrollers.
The Customs boss in the statement singed by the Public Relations Officer, Wale Adeniyi, noted that Dikko said, “As at the end of October 2011, the Service has generated a total of N602 Billion into the Federation Account. By the end of the year, we hope to have generated a bonus revenue of over N100 Billion into Government Coffers.”
Before 2011, Average monthly collection by the Service was N30 Billion. This has progressively increased to a monthly average of N50 Billion in the first quarter of 2011. Towards the end of the 2nd quarter however, the Service recorded an all-time high of N61.5 Billion in July 2011, surpassed by the collection of August 2011, which stood at N76.2 Billion.
The Customs helmsman attributed the feat to the stringent measures he put in place to closely-monitor revenue performance and block leakages. These measures include the creation of a System-Audit Unit in Headquarters to monitor duty payment in all Ports, the automation of the entire Customs Clearance Procedure which allows for faster and smoother clearance and the improved quality of Customs Workforce that is better-trained and motivated.
Abdullahi also noted that the Automation of Excise payment Procedures has also greatly helped to block leakages associated with the Sector. Though only four locally produced items pay excise duties in Nigeria, they represent about 10% of total collections.
“The years 2012 and beyond will hold better prospect for the Service and the nation because of two major factors. First, the new Customs Staff College will start producing trained Officers in Modern Customs Management, while the existing Service Providers contract will expire, leaving Nigerians to manage our affairs”, he noted.
“We are committed to the full take-off of the College, which we expect Mr. President to officially Commission next month. With the College in operations, Customs managers will acquire global best practice in modern Customs Management, with the Resources drawn mainly from Nigeria”, he added.