Nigerian Customs generates N1.3trn in first quarter 2024, says C-G

The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, says it generated more than N1.3 trillion revenue in the first quarter of 2024.

The Comptroller General of NCS, Adewale Adeniyi, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen on its activities in the first quarter of 2024, on Wednesday in Abuja.

“The total revenue collected during this period amounted to N1,347,675,608,972.75.

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“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.

Mr Adeniyi 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.

He added that in February, the service recorded 138.68 per cent growth and in March, 132.76 per cent compared to 2023.

The C-G said that 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.

According to him, 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.

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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.

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“One notable initiative is the integration of geospatial technology alongside the utilisation 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.

Mr Adeniyi noted that even though customs recorded a decrease in the volume of import transactions in the first quarter, it was working toward streamlining its trade processes to address bottlenecks and optimise its efficiency across ports for seamless trade transactions.

He said that the service also recorded several systemic challenges related to non-compliance with regulations, infrastructure limitations, and significant fluctuations in exchange rates applied in the clearance of consignments.

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.

Consequently, Mr Adeniyi said that the NCS, with the support of the Minister of Finance, has initiated periodic consultations with the CBN to mitigate the potential impact of exchange rate fluctuations on import activities.
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