The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has recorded a N3.206 trillion revenue collection in 2023, representing an increase of 21.4 percent from N2.64 trillion recorded in 2022.
The Comptroller-General (CG) of Customs, Mr. Adewale Adeniyi , disclosed the figure at a press conference, in Abuja, yesterday.
He said, “In the fiscal year 2023, the NCS achieved a significant milestone by recording a total revenue collection of N 3.206 trillion, marking a noteworthy 21.4% increase from the preceding year’s total revenue of N2.641 trillion.
“This growth aligns with the NCS’s consistent upward trajectory, as evidenced by a 17.88% revenue increase in 2022. The consecutive expansion in revenue underscores the Service’s sustained efforts in optimizing revenue collection for the Federal Government and exemplifies our ability to adapt to dynamic economic conditions.
“This achievement is particularly remarkable given the challenges within the operational environment.”
The operational challenges, he said, made it difficult for the NCS to fully meet the target, as it recorded revenue shortfall of N478 billion.
The volume of revenue collection, Adeniyi said, was impacted by lower transaction volumes, compliance issues, inadequate infrastructure, and capacity gaps were compounded by delays in policy implementation and socio-political factors.
Others, he added, were: “The anxiety associated with a major election year, the prolonged cash crunch linked to the introduction of higher denominations of the new Naira bills, temporarily impacted purchasing power and overall economic activities.
“The transition of power to the President Tinubu-led Administration brought about new policy direction, including the removal of fuel subsidy, the floating of the exchange rate, and the closure of Nigeria’s Northern borders with Niger Republic, adding another layer of complexity.
“These challenges led to a revenue shortfall of N532 billion in the first half of the year, falling short of the projected revenue target of N1.84 trillion.
“However, a positive transformation occurred in the later part of the year, following my appointment as the Comptroller-General in July.
“This was accompanied by a merit-based reconstitution of the management team, resulting in a significant shift that enabled the Service to exceed monthly revenue targets by 6.71% for the first time in 2023. Monthly revenue collection for the latter half of the year averaged N332.9 billion, a substantial increase from the initial N201.7 billion recorded in the first half of the year.
“The improved revenue collection in the latter half of 2023 played a crucial role in significantly reducing the revenue shortfall by 10%, decreasing from N532 billion to N478 billion by year-end.
“This calculation is based on the government’s projected revenue collection by the NCS of N3.684 trillion and the actual collection of N3.206 trillion.”
The Customs boss said going forward, numerous strategic initiatives would be adopted to positively impact the Service’s performance.
“These initiatives include the introduction of the Advanced Ruling system, aligning NCS operations with global best practices and meeting the recommendations of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA).
“Additionally, the inauguration of a Steering Committee on the Implementation of Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) for Compliant Traders underscores our readiness to transition from Fastrack 2.0 to the AEO concept,” he said.
Foreign Exchange rate
The CG said he would address the fluctuation in exchange rate, adding, “The Service acknowledges the impact of currency exchange variations on trade dynamics and revenue collection.
“NCS aims to address this challenge proactively by considering strategies to mitigate potential adverse effects. One of the key strategies is to regularly update the exchange rate in line with the going market conditions. This approach is geared towards ensuring optimal revenue performance in the face of currency fluctuations and maintaining adaptability to changes in our operational environment.”
50 % mgt staff about to exit.
He revealed that about 50 percent of the management staff would exit soon and as such, he would undertake an aggressive capacity building in the organization.
Adeniyi disclosed that some parts of the Nigeria-Benin Border had been re-opened and that discussions were on-going between authorities of the two countries for others to be considered.
He stressed his administration’s zero tolerance for smuggling and that, going forward, the NCS would pay more attention to outcomes of seized goods handed over to other government agencies, to ensure conclusive outcomes, in public interest.