Customs declares 122% revenue increase for Q1 at N1.3trn

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Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced performance in the first quarter of 2024, exceeding revenue targets by a significant margin of 122 per cent.

Comptroller General of NCS, Adewale Adeniyi revealed that the service generated over N1.3 trillion (N1,347,675,608,972.75) in the first three months, compared to N606 billion collected in the same period last year.

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The Customs boss who disclosed this while briefing newsmen on it’s activities in the first quarter of 2024, on Wednesday in Abuja, said this significant increase highlights the NCS’s growing efficiency and effectiveness in trade facilitation and revenue collection.

Adeniyi further elaborated on a month-by-month breakdown, showcasing the positive trajectory.

“In January 2024 alone, the NCS raked in N390.8 billion, reflecting a 95.6% increase compared to January 2023’s N199.8 billion.

“These impressive figures suggest a potential for the NCS to surpass its yearly revenue targets. The positive performance is likely due to a combination of factors, including increased trade activity, improved enforcement measures against smuggling, and better trade facilitation processes.

“The collection for the first quarter represents a substantial increase of 122.35 per cent compared to the same period last year, where N606,119,935,146.67 was collected,” he said.

He explained that the month-by-month analysis illustrated the service’s impressive growth trajectory in Jan. 2024, where it recorded revenue of N390,824 billion, an increase of 95.6 per cent compared to that of Jan. 2023 of N199.81 billion.

Adeniyi further noted that in February, the service recorded 138.68 per cent growth and in March, 132.76 per cent compared to 2023.

According to the CG, the service, within the quarter under review, recorded 572 seizures of various items valued at N10.59 billion in Duty Paid Value (DPV) and 22 suspects were arrested.

He stated that rice constituted 39 per cent of the seizures, followed by petroleum products at 26 per cent, with motor vehicles and textiles accounting for nine and six per cent respectively.

He said that the service was determined to address smuggling and harassment of its personnel during operations in border communities through strengthened anti-smuggling strategies with innovations such as Geographic Information System.

“One notable initiative is the integration of geospatial technology alongside the utilization of satellite imagery and Artificial Intelligence tools and techniques.

“These efforts were initiated upon my assumption of office to combat the longstanding issue of smuggling and enhance the NCS’s enforcement capabilities for effective monitoring of our extensive 4,000 km borders.

“Additionally, this initiative will establish a Command and Control center to monitor activities along our borders comprehensively,” he said.

The NCS boss explained that in the first quarter 2024, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed 28 rates, and such fluctuations resulted in an average applied exchange rate of NGN 1,314.03 per one dollar in the clearance of customs goods during the quarter.

He explained that the fluctuations affected and disrupted the activities of its stakeholders and the potential of its revenue.

“The NCS, supported by the Finance Minister, is working with the Central Bank to address the effect of fluctuating exchange rates on imports”, Adeniyi said.

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