• Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Customs says it made N3.2trn record revenue despite operational challenges

Nigeria Customs moves to expand trade relations with Benin Republic

Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has reported N3.206 trillion in revenue collected in 2023, despite facing significant operational hurdles.

The revenue is a 21.4% increase over the preceding year’s revenue of N 2.6 trillion.

At a press conference held `on Wednesday in Abuja, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, the Comptroller General of NCS attributed this unprecedented growth to the sustained efforts in optimizing revenue generation for the Federal Government of Nigeria.

He highlighted the challenges faced, including lower transaction volumes, compliance management issues, inadequate infrastructure, and socio-political factors that affected revenue collection throughout the year.

The revenue shortfall, totaling 478 billion Naira, in the face of a projected N3.6 trillion collection, was a result of various factors, including delays in policy implementation, socio-political tensions, and the introduction of new currency denominations impacting purchasing power and economic activities.

However, the latter part of the year witnessed a positive transformation following the reconstitution of management and the Comptroller General’s assumption of duty.

Strategic measures, such as the establishment of a revenue recovery team, dissolution of existing strike forces, and operational streamlining, significantly bolstered revenue collection in the latter half of 2023.

The NCS credited strategic decisions, including merit-based reassignment of customs area comptrollers and extensive stakeholder engagement, for the impressive rally in revenue collection during the latter part of the year. These measures contributed to a 7% reduction in the revenue shortfall by year-end.

Additionally, the NCS emphasized government initiatives and incentives designed to stimulate economic sectors, including concessions totaling nearly N2 trillion. These initiatives aimed to drive development and bolster the nation’s peace and security, particularly through campaigns against smuggling and illicit trade.

The NCS showcased its commitment to combating illicit trade, boasting record convictions and successful dismantling of criminal operations linked to smuggling wildlife and contraband goods.

The service is poised to implement advanced systems and engage with international bodies like the World Customs Organization to further enhance its operations in the coming months.

Looking ahead to 2024, the NCS has been allocated a revenue target of 5.079 trillion Naira, aligning with the government’s economic objectives. Adeniyi expressed confidence in meeting these targets through strategic initiatives, operational reforms, and stakeholder engagement.

“Despite the challenges faced in 2023, the Nigerian Customs Service remains dedicated to efficiency, excellence, and contributing positively to Nigeria’s economic development, promising a continued commitment to meeting increased revenue targets in the future”, Adeniyi stated.