Nigerian Customs Earns 87% Of Its 2023 Target Revenue
The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi, recently revealed that the organization fell short of its revenue target for 2023, reaching 87% of the projected N3.68 trillion. Despite facing a challenging operational environment, the NCS achieved a commendable 21.4% increase in total revenue collection, reaching N3.21 trillion compared to the previous year’s N2.64 trillion.
Adeniyi attributed the revenue shortfall of N478 billion to operational challenges experienced in the first half of 2023. These challenges encompassed lower transaction volumes, compliance issues, inadequate infrastructure, capacity gaps, delays in policy implementation, and socio-political factors. Factors such as the anticipation of a major election year, cash crunch associated with the introduction of higher denominations of the new Naira bills, and policy shifts during the transition to the President Tinubu-led Administration further impacted revenue.
The latter part of 2023 witnessed a positive turnaround following Adeniyi’s appointment as Comptroller-General in July. Strategic measures, including a merit-based reconstitution of the management team, enforcement streamlining under the Federal Operations Unit (FOU), stakeholder engagements, and an ideas bank, contributed to this resurgence. Monthly revenue collection averaged N332.9 billion in the latter half, significantly surpassing the N201.7 billion recorded in the first half, thereby reducing the year-end revenue shortfall to N478 billion.
Adeniyi highlighted that deliberate government initiatives, including the approval of a concession of N2 trillion for select dutiable items, contributed to the deficit in NCS revenue collection. The concessions aimed to stimulate economic growth and enhance peace and security by exempting duty payments on specific dutiable goods.
The NCS’s campaign against smuggling and illicit trade in 2023 resulted in 3,806 seizures with a Duty Paid value of N16.05 billion. The confiscated items included arms and ammunition, artifacts, illicit drugs, expired food produce, and endangered species. The NCS achieved 52 convictions, with 11 related to illicit trade in animal/wildlife.
Looking ahead to 2024, the NCS is determined to meet its newly set revenue target of N5.08 trillion. Adeniyi outlined strategic initiatives, such as the Advanced Ruling system and an electronic auction (e-auction) platform, designed to align operations with global best practices and enhance transparency. The government’s confidence in the NCS’s capabilities underscores its pivotal role in contributing to the nation’s fiscal well-being.
The NCS remains optimistic that the implemented initiatives and operational reforms will play a crucial role in achieving the N5.08 trillion revenue goal for 2024. Stay tuned for updates on the NCS’s efforts and accomplishments in the coming fiscal year.