The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has expressed optimism of surpassing its N1.3 trillion target for the 2018 fiscal year as the Service said it already generated a total of N998.4 billion as revenue between January and October 2018.
The revenue was generated from import duty, excise duty, and Value Added Tax (VAT), among other fees. A breakdown of the revenue shows that the NCS generated N96.6 billion in January, N79.26 billion in February, N87.58 billion in March and N94.3 billion in April.
In May, it recorded N100.5 billion, N98.4 billion in June, N94.9 billion in July and N139.9 billion in August, which represented the highest monthly collection so far. N99.5 billion was generated in September, while N106.8 was recorded in October.
Meanwhile, national public relations officer of the NCS, Joseph Attah, has said that clearing agents do not have the authority to question the structure in Customs or how the agency carries out its responsibilities.
Attah, who was reacting to concerns raised by the agents over the multiplicity of Customs units who they alleged extort and delay cargo even after such cargo had exited the port, advised the agents to report such allegations if substantiated to the Customs management for necessary disciplinary measures.
According to the Customs spokesman, “We have three layers of security in our job. One is the resident officer, which is the commanding officer. If for any reason a cargo escape those people and come out, the Federal Operations Unit will be there to intercept the container and if for any reason, the agent escape their catch and even arrive at his warehouse, and then there is an intelligence that gets to the strike force, they will leave where they are and go and strike and evacuate the container.
“The strike force don’t erect checkpoint. They are strategically located. They only act when they receive intelligence because they don’t want to impede the free flow of goods in line with the ease of doing business. The Customs police on its own is a unit created to instill discipline in the system.
“How Customs operate and achieve the result is a matter of strategy. The Customs management reserves the right to adopt a strategy that is most suitable and most productive to achieve the result. I think it will be unfair for anybody to question why we should adopt a particular strategy.
“What should be important to members of the public is if in the course of discharging these duties, they cross the line, then we will appreciate feedbacks to us with necessary detail to arrest those concerns and deal with the issue.”
Attah, however, noted that it takes two to tango, saying agents who do proper declaration and pay accurate duty would not have any reason for complain.