The Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, said the Service has crossed N2 trillion in its revenue generation.
Ali, who disclosed this on Friday at the graduation ceremony for Customs Senior course 5 and Junior course 11 held at Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada in Abuja also assured that the long-awaited e-Customs project will be launched within the first quarter of 2022.
He said the e-customs will replace the manual processes for cargo clearance that requires high human contact and huge paper work at the nation’s seaports, airports and land borders.
According to him, once the e-Customs package is deployed, all officers and men are expected to be fully fortified with digital procedures as the Service is not ready to habour non-compliant staff who may become a clog in the wheel of progress.
He explained that the e-customs is expected to boost national security through the development of systems and networks aimed at the prevention and suppression of smuggling; while boosting revenue generation and deepening ease of doing business by eliminating unnecessary human contact.
He said, “We’re almost signing the e-Customs concession agreement and once we get that signed, the next thing is the commencement of implementation. The consortium is ready. They’ve made the contacts for their supplies and their suppliers are ready and so are people who are keying into it. “All we’re waiting for is to get the vetted copy of the agreement from the Ministry of Justice and once it’s signed, we would launch the e-Customs process and that should be around the first quarter of 2022 and then, we monitor implementation”, he said.
On the Service revenue collection, Ali said, “We are very grateful to God. In 2020, we did very well despite the pandemic and the hiccups. We are doing exceptionally well too this year. We have crossed the N2 trillion border in terms of collection. Before the end of the year, we hope to achieve N2.2-2.3 trillion.”
In his remarks, the Commandant of the Customs Command and Staff College Gwagwalada, Assistant Comptroller-General Adewale Adeniyi, said the programme recorded a good pass.
He added that the 78 participants, comprising 38 senior staff and 40 from the junior cadre, displayed a high level of professionalism in the training started in June this year.
Adeniyi appreciated the Customs CG for the approval for the acquisition of two generating sets in addition to solar energy arrangements as a strategic way of tackling the epileptic power nightmare jolting the college.
He added that the school was working closely with other security agencies to ensure peace and tranquility since security in Gwagwalada is still rated as tense.
He urged the NCS management to help expand the college as Customs formations from overseas have asked for exchange programmes, even as many want to school in Gwagwalada.
“We urge the Customs board to accord the expansion agenda of the college a priority status next year”, Adeniyi added.