The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it generated about N3.1 trillion in revenue into Federation Account in the last three years.
Joseph Attah, National Public Relations Officer of Customs, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday that the revenue was generated between 2016 and 2018.
A breakdown of revenue generated by the service shows that the sum of N898.8 billion was collected in 2016, N1.037 trillion in 2017 and N1.2 trillion in 2018.
According to Attah, within the period under review, about 16,049 seizures of various contraband and falsely declared commodities were made by various Customs commands across the country.
Attah said that 5,925 items were seized in 2016; 4,889 items impounded in 2017 while the remaining 5,235 were intercepted in 2018.
Recall that in 2018, the service intercepted arms, ammunition, more than 59 containers of Tramadol and other controlled drugs as well as 320,709 bags of imported rice.
“The implementation of the presidential mandate to restructure, reform, and raise revenue by the present management of NSC has greatly repositioned the service for better. What is challenging but being gradually achieved is the reform of persons, especially the need for attitudinal change on the part of operatives and stakeholders,” Attah said.
He however said that there is an increasing disposition to place national interest above self among the officers. Attah noted that the establishment of the Customs Police Unit with the responsibility to check acts of indiscipline and other vices was fast turning Customs into a national example for service delivery.
He said that suppression of smuggling remained the most challenging aspect of Customs’ functions as anti-smuggling operations were seen differently by many people who still regarded smuggling as a business not crime.
“The challenges being faced by the Service in addressing smuggling are porous borders, non-cooperative attitude of some border dwellers and lack of proper implementation of the ECOWAS protocol on transit by people from neighboring countries. Others are use of motorcycles and animals to smuggle items through difficult terrains,” he said.
According to him, the activities of smugglers to some extent have been put on check in the last three years since assumption of office by Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) especially with the unprecedented seizures made so far.
AMAKA ANAGOR-EWUZIE with agency report