The press briefing held on Wednesday by the Comptroller-General of NCS, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, shed light on the Customs activities in the first quarter and the impressive revenue collection achieved during this period.

According to the Comptroller-General, the total revenue collected in the first quarter amounted to N1,347,675,608,972.75.

This represents a significant increase of 122.35% compared to the same period last year, where the revenue collected was N606,119,935,146.67.

The month-by-month analysis further highlights the remarkable growth trajectory of the Service.

In January 2024, the revenue collection witnessed a surge of 95.60%, reaching N390,824,148,326.55 from N199,809,974,327.52 recorded in January 2023.

This upward trend continued in February 2024, with an astonishing growth of 138.68%, elevating the 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 experienced a growth of 132.76%, increasing from N217,669,949,432.28 to N506,642,193,019.05.

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When compared to the Federal Government’s annual revenue target of N5.07 trillion for the NCS to collect in 2024, which translates to N423 billion monthly, the Service has been consistently surpassing expectations.

The average monthly revenue growth stands at 6.2% over the set monthly target, and the cumulative revenue collection is 18.6%, equivalent to N78,675,608,972.75 over the set quarterly target of N1.269 trillion.

This demonstrates the NCS’s commitment to achieving its revenue goals and contributing to the nation’s economic growth.

The Commissioner of Customs, however, noted that there have been difficulties related to non-compliance with regulations, limitations in infrastructure, and a noticeable decrease in cargo throughput, as evidenced by a 4.89% decline in the volume of transactions handled.

Adeniyi also stated that significant fluctuations in exchange rates used in the customs clearance of shipments have posed significant challenges.

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“According to protocol, the exchange rate used by Customs in the clearance of goods through the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS) is based on the rate determined by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). In the last quarter, the CBN directed a total of 28 rates, ranging from N951.94 per USD 1 in January 2024 to a peak of N1,662.35 per USD 1 in February 2024.”

“While a single exchange rate of N951.94 per USD 1 was maintained in January, February saw 15 different spot rates ranging from N951.94 per USD 1 to N1,662.35 per USD 1.

In March, a total of 13 different spot rates were applied, ranging from N1,303.84 to N1,630.16. These fluctuations resulted in an average applied exchange rate of N1,314.03 per USD 1 in the customs clearance of goods during the quarter,” he stated.

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Regarding anti-smuggling activities in the first quarter of 2024, the NCS recorded a total of 572 seizures, involving various items valued at N10,593,099,654.50 in Duty Paid Value (DPV).

“Notably, there were 111 seizures in January, amounting to N842,992,751.50 in DPV, while February had the highest number of seizures with 432, totaling N3,704,703,350.34. Rice accounted for 39% of the seizures, followed by petroleum products at 26%, and motor vehicles and textiles at 9% and 6% 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,” he explained.

Furthermore, he emphasized that trade facilitation remains a central focus of the NCS operations, and the Service has diligently worked towards streamlining processes.

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