As part of measures to boost its revenue collections, and meet up with its expected target for the year, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) will soon commence the collection of duty from telecommunications operators on products like voice call, data and other digital services ,even as the Service raked in a whopping N1.292 trillion revenue into the federation account between January and June,2022.
Deputy Comptroller, Timi Bomodi, National Public Relations Officer of the NCS, disclosed this at a news conference.
Comptroller Bomodi, while evaluating the half year score card of the Service, said the amount generated surpassed the achievements of the Customs last year by N289,364,116,786 which represents 28.83%.
He said this is even more remarkable given the fact that only 116,691 Pre-Arrival Assessment Reports (PAARs) were issued against 129,667 processed in the same period of 2021.
He disclosed that a total of N156,315,758,646.18 was also generated into the non-federation account as collections made on behalf of other government agencies.
He revealed that excise duty being tax levied on the manufacture, sale and consumption of goods under excise control was collected through 22 commands of the service , stressing that a total of =N=68,015,808,146.61 was collected from manufacturers of beer, spirits and other alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and tobacco among other products from January to June, 2022.
“Also, in the month of June, the Service commenced collections from extant traders producing carbonated and sugary drinks newly added under schedule 5 of theCommon External Tariff (CET). So far, the Service has collected from carbonated and sugary drinks more than one billion Naira in the month of June.
“Other revenues from telecommunication (call and data), and digital network services are yet to be collected. NCS is expected to start collecting revenue on these products and services as soon as the modalities for collection are put in place. Duties from these revenue sources are expected to boost our collections in the current year.
“Of the 42 Free Trade zones in Nigeria only 25 are active, with 15 of them operating in Zone ‘A’, 4 in Zone ‘B’, 5 in Zone ‘C’ and 1 in Zone ‘D’. in addition to providing employment opportunities for Nigerians, these Special Economic Zones are expected to engender the transfer of technology, help build local capacity, provide viable market for other local producers of raw materials and increase the quality of goods which can potentially be available in the local market on the payment of relevant duties and taxes.
Speaking on enforcement and anti-smuggling he said, ” There have been remarkable interventions in the anti-smuggling activities of the Service. In the period under review various goods with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N39,174,678,983.00 were seized due to regulatory and policy infringements. The top seven items seized are narcotics and other illicit drugs with a DPV of N8,768,311,517.00, followed by foreign parboiled rice with a DPV of N8,251,353,292.00, and illegal imports of dangerous pharmaceuticals with a DPV of N7,630,764,524.00.”
Other items are used clothing with a DPV of N4,051,244,924.00, petroleum products with a DPV of =N= 3,698,181,138.00, textiles and made up fabrics with a DPV of N2,561,361,989.00 and motor vehicles with a DPV of N1,853,084,115.00. The DPV value of seizures in the current year exceeds that of seizures made in 2021 by a whopping N34,752,130,003.00.”
On illegal wildlife and trafficking and trade, Bomodi noted that the Service in collaboration with the United States embassy in Nigeria, the British and German governments, enabled the creation of a Special Wildlife Office which has spearheaded an intelligence driven approach to curbing the illicit trafficking and trading in endangered species.
Their effort he said has seen to the arrest of 12 foreign and local suspects, the confiscation of 1,236.5 kg of pangolin scales and 145 kg of ivory. All suspects have since been charged to court and await conviction.
On anti-Money laundering Unit (AML), he revealed the Service made seizures of 339,800 USD, 12,000 POUNDS, 3,013,500 RYD, 20,005 CFA, and 133 ATM cards.
He informed that 7 persons were arrested in violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act and handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for prosecution.
The NCS spokesperson stated that the Service is optimistic about achieving the revenue target set for it by government.
His words,”Our focus is on fortifying our risk management tools to drastically minimize leakages and curtail the activities of non compliant traders. We understand the important role of technology in this endeavor that is why our focus is on actualizing the full automation of all our activities as encapsulated in the concession agreement vetted by Infrastructure Concession Regulation Commission (ICRC) and signed with Trade Modernization Nigeria Limited and our technical partners Huawei Technologies Limited. This agreement promises to usher in a whole new era that will radically transform the operations of the Service and bring it at par with leading Customs Administrations