AfCFTA: Nigeria’s economic interest won’t be compromised – Customs

Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali

Generated N1.6 trillion in 2020

Nigeria Customs Service has restated its stand on protecting the national security and economy of the nation and called on the Nigerian business community to support this stand for the nation to benefit from the trade agreement and other cross border activities under African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The Service however said it generated the sum of N1,562,115,419,216.32 into the coffers of the nation in 2020, which was over the target of N1,380,765,353,462.00 over the sum of N1,342,006,918,504.55 generated in 2019 despite the covid-19 pandemic.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) stated this in a press statement issued by the service on the revenue feat, saying the Service could attain the feat as a result of the resolute pursuit of what is right and willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by covid-19.

The Comptroller General attributed the rise in the revenue generation profile to the ongoing reforms in the Service, disclosing that the service has purchased the Federal Ministry of Finance has purchased three (3) new Scanners.

According to him, “the partial border closure which has forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports raised revenue collection from ports.

“Before the commencement of the border drill on 20th August 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion to N5 billion but now Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) generates between N5 billion to N9 billion daily.

“Diplomatic engagements that took place during the partial land border closure yielded many positive results, including a commitment to comply with the ECOWAS Protocol on Transit. Operationalization of joint border patrols at both sides of the border.

“The teams are required to share intelligence and ensure prevention of transit of prohibited goods into the neighbor’s territory. Accordingly, Service wishes to express its readiness to strictly implement the outcome of the diplomatic engagements as the land borders open for the movement of cargoes.

“Intelligence gathered during the period and the introduction of the e-Customs whose components include installation of scanners at all entry points will enhance border security and boost national trade facilitation.

“Already Ministry of Finance has purchased three (3) new Scanners. Interestingly, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has also expressed commitment to purchasing four (4) Scanners and establishes the control center for monitoring all scanning sites in their bid to boost the national economy, especially the agricultural sector. “This means that within the next six (6) months, NCS will have about seven (7) functional scanners to be mounted at strategic entry points even before the full deployment of e-Customs components which will see to the deployment of 135 modern scanners. NCS appreciates and commends the leadership of CBN for this strategic intervention in the interest of the nation.

“In the same vein, the Service efforts to prevent the entry of items that could compromise the security of our citizens, Economy and the well being of our people resulted in the seizures of 4,304 assorted items with a duty paid value of N28,287,285,847.52.

“These seizures include arms, ammunition, illicit drugs, used clothing, vegetable oil, frozen poultry and foreign rice among others that have grave consequences on economic security and the well-being of Nigerians.

“While we give assurances of total commitment to the course of protecting national security and economy, we call on Nigerians, especially the business community to support the NCS as our borders open to African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in order to benefit from the trade agreement and other cross border activities.”

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