Nigerian Customs rakes in 2.5trn revenue

David Adekunle, Lagos

The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has said it raked in about N2.53trn between the period of 2014 and 2016.

The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), (Rt)Col. Hameed Ali said this delivering a paper titled,”Non- Oil Revenue for Economic Growth: Impact of Nigeria Customs Service”, at a 3-Day All Nigerian Maritime Journalists’ Retreat in Badagry, Lagos State.

Col.Ali said that a significant part of the amount formed part of monthly allocations to the three tiers of government to execute projects aimed at stimulating the economy, provision of infrastructure and social services.

The Comptroller General who spoke through the Service National Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Wale Adeniyi gave the breakdown of the revenue collected within the two year period as follows; 2014 :- N99, 099, 172, 939. 51;  2015 :- N904, 072, 689, 941. 72 and January to September 2016:-N647 295, 102, 275. 51.

 He stated that the anti- smuggling activities of the service spoke volumes of its commitment to ensure that Nigerian jobs were protected and that a total of 17,173 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N22.3bn were made.

“The huge seizure count represents the havoc which smugglers would have wreaked or expressed in terms of the toll it would have taken on the local producers of the seized products”, he said.

Achievements

The Customs boss recalled the achievements made by the service in the area of trade facilitation to include the launch of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) ,which he said was a tool for fast clearance of imports.

Another was the development of a world class trade hub, the www.nigeriatradehub.gov.ng to provide round the clock online information about Nigerian trade as well as the use of fast track concession for traders to promote compliant importers among others.

On the Common External Tariff (CET) he said, “the CET is structured as a protectionist instrument for the local economy. While raw materials, machineries are primary products required as input for local manufacturing industries, on the other hand, finished products are with clamped with high rates of duty and additional levies with a long list of items under import prohibition to stimulate local production.”

Ali also said that Nigerian Customs was a major implementor of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) which he said was a policy put in place to encourage sub-regional trade.

He maintained that through the scheme, goods produced within the community were granted free market access in the region adding that contrary to the widely held position on the scheme,N igerian products were taking maximum advantage of it, keeping jobs in Nigeria and earning forex from their export

”In the past 3 years, CIF value of exports from Nigeria under the scheme stood at N233, 642, 521, 641 while total imports from the 14 other members is N360, 714, 779, 595. The major commodity manufactured in Nigeria for ECOWAS market include Cigarettes, Cocoa Paste and Beans, Sesame Oil, Milk and Milk powder, footwear, Cashew nuts, sea food, floating or submersible drilling services,” he stated.

The Customs boss explained that the Service was vital to economic growth through its functions of revenue generation, trade facilitation and citizens protection.