Customs Q1 revenue surpasses N1tn, rice tops N10bn seizures

The Nigeria Customs Service, on Wednesday, announced a 122.35 per cent increase in its first quarter 2024 revenue when compared to the same period in 2023, stating that it raked in N1.34tn between January and March this year.

It announced this at a press briefing in Abuja and noted that the agency’s revenue witnessed a monthly rise in the first three months of 2024.

“In the first quarter of 2024, the NCS demonstrated remarkable performance in revenue collection. Total revenue collected during this period amounted to N1,347,675,608,972.75.

“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 generated,” the Comptroller-General, NCS, Adewale Adeniyi, told journalists.

He added, “Month-by-month analysis further illustrates the service’s impressive growth trajectory. In January 2024, revenue collection surged by 95.60 per cent, reaching N390,824,148,326.55 from N199,809,974,327.52 recorded in January 2023.

“This upward trend continued in February 2024, with a staggering 138.68 per cent growth, elevating revenue collection to N450,209,267,557.15 from N188,625,011,386.87 in February 2023. By March 2024, the revenue collected by NCS grew by 132.76 per cent from N217,669,949,432.28 to N506,642,193,019.05.”

Adeniyi noted that when compared to the Federal Government’s annual revenue target of N5.07tn for the NCS to collect in 2024, the target translates to a monthly revenue target of N423bn.

“We are pleased to report an average monthly revenue growth of 6.2 per cent over the set monthly target and a cumulative revenue collection of 18.6 per cent, equivalent to N78,675,608,972.75 over the set quarterly target of N1.269tn,” he stated.

39% rice seizures

The customs boss further stated that in the first quarter of 2024, the NCS recorded a total of 572 seizures, encompassing various items valued at N10,593,099,654.50 in Duty Paid Value.

“Notably, January saw 111 seizures amounting to N842,992,751.50 in DPV, while February marked the highest seizure numbers of 432, totalling N3,704,703,350.34. 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 of the seizures respectively.

“During this period, the NCS detained 22 suspects and appropriate legal measures will be taken in accordance with the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023,” Adeniyi stated.

On trade facilitation, he said this remained a central focus of the NCS operations, adding that despite the inherent challenges, “we have diligently worked towards streamlining processes, minimising bottlenecks, and optimising efficiency across our ports to ensure seamless trade transactions.”

Adeniyi stated that in the first quarter of this year, the NCS processed a total of 311,492 Single Goods Declarations for imports, reflecting the volume of import transactions handled.

This figure, according to him, indicates a decrease compared to the total volume of 327,491 processed in 2023 and 403,233 SGDs in 2022.

Regarding export transactions, he said a total of 10,786 SGDs were processed in 2024 compared to 9,752 transactions in 2023, representing a 10.60 per cent growth in export activities.

He said, “Notably, a significant portion of this growth occurred in January, with 4,067 transactions processed in 2024 compared to 3,352 SGDs in 2023, marking a 29.69 per cent increase.

“The service is particularly interested in the growth of the non-oil export sector, aligning with the priorities of the President Bola Tinubu led administration and the initiatives pursued by NCS in recent times.”

He noted that several deliberate factors contributed to the successes around NCS key performance indicators, adding that it was important to acknowledge the dedication and efforts of officers and men of agency who worked tirelessly to ensure consistent and upward momentum.

“NCS officers have played a key role in driving the implementation of initiatives, as evidenced by our performance across the three core statutory responsibilities set by the government. Among these initiatives is the introduction of the E-auction generating a total revenue of N1.6bn in February and March,” Adeniyi stated.

He also stated that the granting of a 90-day window to owners of uncustomed vehicles by the government, facilitating the payment of appropriate duties on previously imported vehicles into the country helped in fulfilling the mandate of the NCS.

“Members of the public are strongly advised to avail themselves of this opportunity to regularise their papers, as failure to do so will result in applicable penalties.

“Additionally, the government’s decision to reopen the Northern borders with the Niger Republic holds significant importance. This action is expected to boost trading activities in those areas. With potential smugglers now reconsidering the legitimacy of trading through approved routes, this decision stands as a pivotal move,” he stated.

The customs boss, however, noted that during the quarter, the NCS encountered several systemic challenges that impeded its ability to fulfil its statutory responsibilities effectively.

“These challenges encompassed issues related to non-compliance with regulations, infrastructure limitations and a notable decline in cargo throughput, evidenced by a 4.89 per cent decrease in the volume of transactions handled,” Adeniyi stated.

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