Spread the love


Comptroller General of Customs

I am delighted to welcome you to today’s press conference, where I will provide an account of the Nigeria Customs Service’s (NCS) performance over the past year under my stewardship as the Comptroller-General of Customs.

Exactly 1year ago today, and approximately 3weeks into the inauguration of President
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I was appointed by Mr. President as the Comptroller General of this strategic agency, the NCS. My appointment came during the nascent stage of the administration, when policy directives were being fine-tuned to meet the expectations of Nigerians.

Under the guidanceof the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, the NCS embarked on an initiative to align its statutory responsibilities with Mr. President’s Policy Advisory Document

In this regard, a total of 9priority areas were highlighted to deliver immediate benefits within the administration’s first twelve months. These areas were aligned under4core statutory responsibilities of the NCS; trade facilitation, revenue collection, protection of society, and collaboration with stakeholders. The priorities include:
a. Under the Trade Facilitation Responsibility.
i.Transforming Nigeria into Africa’s most efficient trading nation.
ii. Decongesting areas within 4km around ports for cargo, road, and railway use.

iii. Enforcing the Presidential directive on 48-hour clearance of goods at seaports in line with Executive Order 001.

iv. Redefining performance measures of key government agencies to emphasize trade facilitation.
v. Implementing the National Single Window Trading Platform Project to streamline import and export processes.
vi. Establishing dedicated seaport and airport export terminals with enhanced capacity and upgraded access roads.
b. Under the Revenue Collection Mandateof NCS.
i. Declaring a state of emergency in revenue generation.
ii. Reviewing and restructuring existing incentives, waivers, and tariffs to plug economic leakages and boost key sectors.
c. On NCS Mandate to Protect the Society.
i. Declaring a state of emergency in national security, aligned with the PAC document.

d. In Terms of the Service Mandate on Collaboration with Stakeholders.
i. Promoting strategic communication and engagement with key stakeholders was prioritized.

These set priorities were further endorsed by the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy during our inaugural briefing with the NCS Management Team. Following the finalization of the Presidential Priority Areas (PPA) in subsequent weeks, the Service promptly realigned its operations to support 6 out of the 8 PPAs that fall within its statutory responsibilities, including:
a. Reforming the economy to foster sustained inclusive growth.
b. Strengthening national security to promote peace and prosperity.
c. Enforcing cross border prohibition to achieve food security.

f. Prioritizing education, health, and social investment as pillars of national
g. Accelerating diversification through industrialization, digitization, creative
arts, manufacturing, and innovation.
h. Improving governance for effective service delivery.

These PPAs have been incorporated with the identified priority areas of the PAD in developing strategies to pursue the NCS statutory mandate under the overarching policy thrust of building upon previous successes, collaborating with strategic stakeholders,and deploying innovative solutions. This methodological approach was designed to achieve a tripartite objective:
a. Aligning NCS activities with the policy directives of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration, as one of the dependable agencies contributing to the realization of government plans for Nigerians.
b.To ensure that NCS contribute effectively to the implementation of
fiscal policy objectives under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance.
c.That the above objectives are achieved, along with the set targets by the government based on NCS statutory responsibilities.

The Service has enjoyed steadfast support from Mr. President, through the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, who
also serves as the Chairman of the Nigeria Customs Service Board (NCSB), in the implementation of relevant policy measures.

Thus, the outcomes in this performance report are attributed to the successes of the Chairman and Members of the Board for creating the enabling policy environment for the actualization of Mr. President’s vision.


One of the leading policy measures implemented under the guidance of the
Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy was
the transition from the repealed Customs and Excise Act of 2004 to the newly
signed Nigeria Customs Service Act of 2023. This new act strengthens the
modernization of NCS operations, compliance, and enforcement, with features that promote innovation within the Service. This included extensive sensitization efforts for all stakeholders involved in the customs process, ensuring they were informed about the new laws and had a clear understanding of the implications of the features introduced in the NCS Act of 2023.

The new act also forms the basis for several trade facilitation measures
currently being pursued by NCS. These measures include:
a.The recent transition from the Fast Track 2.0 to the Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) concept. Participants in the AEO program stand to benefit from expedited customs clearance processes, reduced
inspections, priority treatment, and enhanced predictability in Customs
clearance. This transition has advanced beyond the critical stage of stakeholder engagement, with seven beneficiaries, including importers, exporters, logistics companies, customs brokers, and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), now set to be involved in the pilot stage.

b.The Advanced Ruling system represents a notable stride in aligning NCS operations with global best practices, in line with the
recommendations of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).This initiative is now at an advanced stage of implementation.

c. In February 2024, NCS launched an extensive Time Release Study (TRS) with the support of the Honourable Minister of Finance, and the buy-in of the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, as well as the Minister of the Marine and Blue Economy. The objective of this endeavour
is to identify bottlenecks in the clearance process to ensure that adequate measures are taken to resolve these issues.

d. Another significant measure to eliminate inefficiencies in Nigeria’s trading environment and reemphasize the pursuit of trade facilitation by NCS was the dissolution of ad-hoc enforcement teams that constituted multiple layers of checkpoints and hindered trade.

e. In response to the need for dedicated terminals to process export goods, the NCS command at the Port of Lilypond was designated to handle export transactions. Other targeted measures to jointly facilitate trade and enhance revenue collection by the Service include:

a. Implementation of the Presidential approval to decongest the ports area and improve logistics around the port in line with the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.

b. NCS also commenced 24-hour clearance at the Port of Tincan Island, Lagos, in line with the Presidential Directive to enforce 48-hour clearance of goods.

In response to the declaration of a state of emergency on revenue collection, several revenue-enhancing measures were implemented. Notably, a 90-day window was approved by the President, through the Honourable Minister of Finance, allowing owners of uncustomed vehicles to pay appropriate duties on previously imported vehicles.

This initiative followed the establishment of a Revenue Review Performance Recovery team tasked with recovering potential post revenue from pending transactions with Customs.

The NCS also implemented measures to address national security concerns. These measures include strengthening and reinforcing the Federal Operating Units to pursue, intercept, arrest, and dismantle smuggling networks. The Service has also enhanced its reliance on intelligence sharing and collaborations both nationally and internationally to tackle security-related issues, particularly in the illicit trade of arms, ammunition, drugs, and wildlife.
Recently, there has been a renewed focus on dismantling powerful cartels in the
distribution of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

This has led to ongoing collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) in the NCSled operation “Whirlwind.”

The NCS continues to promote collaborations with traditional and new
stakeholders both nationally and internationally across various forums. One such initiative was the revival of the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC’s)
Conference, graced by the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
Senator Kashim Shettima, in December.

This event brought together a wide range
of stakeholders involved in the customs clearance process to engage constructively, culminating in the Lagos Continental document, where pressing
issues were identified,and responsible parties committed to resolving them.

The NCS also took the lead in reviving the activities of the National Trade Facilitation
Committee, hosting and supporting various engagements of the committee. New
frontiers of interagency cooperation were established with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), finalizing arrangements to integrate both systems to minimize the registration of smuggled vehicles. The Service also commenced engagement with critical stakeholders like the Health Federation of Nigeria

(HFN), with the support of the Federal Ministry of Finance, to facilitate the
clearance of medical goods. This collaboration aims to ultimately reduce
challenges and costs, making these services more affordable for Nigerians and
specifically targeting the PPA on healthcare.

Additional support for the PPA via the NCS is in the final stages and will be rolled out by NCS management in the coming weeks under the NCS Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program. This program is premised on the five
pillars of intersection betweenthe PPA and the United Nations Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs). These pillars include support for education, healthcare, food security, social investment initiatives, and partnerships to support the creative economy.

In all these measures, our most valuable assets—the officers and men of the NCS—are not left out. Thanks to the NCS Board, a number of incentives have been approved, with some already implemented and others still pending. Regular promotions and the appointment of deserving officers into management positions have been carried out. Reviewed welfare incentives will be implemented in due course.

All these have been facilitated through the now standardized regular meetings by the NCS Board under the leadership of the Honourable Minister of Finance. These implemented measures, among others, have culminated in the outcomes of the NCS’s performance over the past year.

The NCS recorded the following Key milestones under itscore statutory
a. Revenue collection.The NCS reported a remarkable 74% growth in revenue collection over the past year, recording a total revenue collection of N4.49trillion between June 2023 and May 2024, compared to the N2.58 trillion collected during the corresponding period of the previous year.

This achievement was underpinned by a sustained increase of 70.13% in
average monthly revenue collection compared to the previous year.NCS
recorded anaverage monthly revenue collectionof N343billion, compared to the N202billion monthly average. Notably, there was a substantial 122.35% rise in revenue collection during the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in the previous year. These gains were
attributed to various strategic initiatives, including:

I. N15billionRecovery bythe Revenue Review Performance Recovery exercise.

ii. N2.79billionRecoveredfrom the 90day window for the regularisation of the documents of uncustomed vehicles.
iii. N1.5billionRecoveredfrom the decongestion of 1,705 overtime containers and 981 vehiclesfrom the port.
iv. It is also worthy to note that on June 13, 2024, NCS recorded adaily All-Time-High of N58.5 billion inrevenue collection.
v.The deployment ofofficers to sensitive posts on the basis of merit and capacity.
b.Trade Facilitation.Significant achievements have been made in this category, including:
i.The decongestion of ports and the reopening of previously in accessible access roads.
ii. Particularly noteworthy is the NCS’s recent ranking under the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), which aims to streamline business operations in Nigeria through
reforms and policies. Ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs)
areranked by activities under eight broad indicator levels, including efficiency reforms based on service delivery within stipulated timelines, transparency reforms, the review and update of Service Level Agreements, and support for manufacturing and agriculture

Between 2020 and 2022, the NCS maintained an average percentage score of 18.45%, ranking 28th out of the 37 MDAs ranked. By 2023, the NCS ranking fell further to 34th out of 39 MDAs, with a percentage score of 18.53%. However, by 2024, I am delighted to announce that the NCS moved up 33places, now tied at
the top with 4 other MDAsout of the 36 MDAs assessed, with a percentage score of 100%, marking a 81.5% increase.

This remarkable improvement is directly attributed to the trade facilitation measures implemented within the past year. The NCS remains committed to ensuring that all recommendations and global best practices are implemented to the highest standard.

iii. Similarly, the designation of a dedicated terminal for exports has yielded significant gains, facilitating the processing of export
goods through the Lilypond command. Initially handling 317 Single Goods Declarations (SGDs) in transactions, the terminal now manages 7,464 SGDs, accounting for 19.49% of the total 38,294
export transactions recorded in 2023.

By the first quarter of 2024, the Service has processed a total of 10,786 transactions, with 3,162 (29.32%) of these processed through the dedicated export terminal.
c. Protection of the Society.The NCS’s anti-smuggling efforts in the past year have intensified, resulting in significant interceptions, high-value seizures, and numerous arrests.
i. Notably, the Service recorded 63 seizures related to animal and wildlife products valued at ₦566 million. Additionally, seven
seizures of arms and ammunition were made through our ports and borders. In terms of illicit drugs, a combined total of 127 cases involving narcotics and pharmaceutical products were seized,
valued at over ₦6 billion.
ii.The Service also recorded 724 seizures of 2.93 million litres of PMS (Premium Motor Spirit) that were attempted to be smuggled out of the country. The illegal dealings in petroleum evacuation have
garnered the interest of relevant stakeholders, and the ongoing Operation Whirlwind will continue to intercept and disrupt the activities of smugglers in this regard.
iii. In a bid to guarantee food security and suppress the smuggling of food in and out of the country, the Service recorded 1,744 cases of rice and grain seizures valued at ₦4.4 billion. These concerted efforts underscore the NCS’s commitment to protecting society and ensuring national security.
d. Collaboration.The 81.5%gain in the service reform indices under the PEBEC ranking can be attributed to the recent trade facilitation and collaborative engagements of the NCS. These efforts have led to smoother operations with stakeholders, facilitated by regular interactions.
i.The NCS has now instituted a routine to update the public on its activities through quarterly reports. This initiative, introduced in the first quarter of the year, will continue with the second quarter briefing, which is due in two weeks and will provide detailed insights into NCS operations.

ii. At the most recent engagement with the Health Federation of Nigeria (HFN), greater cooperation and collaboration were
emphasized, particularly to reduce the cost and time for medicament clearance. Stakeholders reached an agreement to set up a technical working group supported by the Ministry of Finance, comprising all
relevant agencies involved in the processing of medicaments.

They also agreed to develop specific clearance procedures for medicaments and to institutionalize a platform with customs for setting up a special corridor dedicated to the clearance of healthcare

Let me reassure Nigerians that the measures we have implemented, and the
results so far, are well-intended and designed to yield positive benefits for the
overall well-being of the nation. When the NCS facilitates trade and reduces the
costs and encumbrances importers face, it translates to lower costs for importers,
which should eventually reflect in price reductions for consumers.

While these gains may experience some lag due to factors beyond our control, such as transportation, infrastructure, and information asymmetry, we remain committed to our role. This is why the NCS is also focused on plugging leakages and
improving revenue collection to support the funding of the government’s objectives and initiatives to build and upgrade infrastructure and invest in other essential schemes, including social welfare.

Our mandate to protect society should be seen in the context of mitigating the damaging effects of illicit substances like codeine and cannabis indica on the
productive youth of Nigeria. Similarly, intercepting the entry of arms and
ammunition is crucial in preventing the worsening of our national security

Unchecked smuggling of prohibited items not only fuels illegal activities but also strengthens unscrupulous individuals who seek to destabilize the peace, security, and prosperity of our country. More recently, PMS smuggling has emerged as a potential national security threat. Beyond the funding it provides for smugglers, the deprivation of Nigerians’ access to PMS can cause significant disruptions and exacerbate the hardships faced by many.

The NCS is making concerted efforts to engage stakeholders and communicate effectively with the citizens of Nigeria. We want to reassure everyone that all measures are in place to improve their well-being and alleviate any hardships they may be facing. Our ultimate goal is to contribute to a safer, more prosperous Nigeria for all.

This performancereport is not oblivious of the challenges thatwe face and will reassure members of the public of our efforts in the following areas:
a. On exchange rate.With the support of the Honourable Minster of Finance, NCS is working in closecollaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria to achieve a stable rate for import of goods to enable
business plan activities.
b. On Compliance with Customs Laws.the Service constantly reviewing its processes in line with the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2024 to ensure that leakages are blocked and offenders of Customs laws are made to face the full penalty and the wrath of the law.
c. On Customs Modernisation.NCS is engaging relevant stakeholders to ensure that the deliverable of the Customs modernisations are met as the Service continuesto phase out manual processes with automation
d. On Trade Agreements.NCS is working closely with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the implementationof trade
agreements like the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) yields the desired benefits to Nigerians. Moreover, the Service has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with strategic trade partners like China Customs and recently is workingwith the Benin Customs to
facilitate the creation of a new joint border post along the Segbana-Tsamia border with the Republic of Benin at Kebbi
e. On National Security.

NCS will continue to work with relevant national and international agencies to share intelligence and develop structured frameworks to ensure that those seeking to disrupt the peace and stability of the nation do not go unpunished.
f. On food inflation.The Service will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that business of food hoardersis unprofitable.
g. On Open governance.NCS remains committed to ensuring transparency in its operations and share relevant and credible information with members of the public. The Service remains open to constructive
criticisms that are fact base and will be open to addresssuch issues.
h. On Corporate Social Responsibility.NCS remains committed to launching its Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy in the coming weeks to support the PPAs of President Bola AhmedTinubu.

It has been one year since my appointment as Comptroller-General, and we continue to recall the euphoria and enthusiasm that greeted the announcement, considering that after eight years, a serving career customs officer had been appointed to this esteemed position. It has been a year of continuous work and dedicated efforts to ensure that we deliver on the mandate and trust that has been reposed in Customs.

I must emphasize that all the measures and recorded successes would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of our officers and men. I thank and commend you all for yourcommitment, not forgetting those who have paid the ultimate price in the process. I enjoin you all to please rise and honour them with a moment of silence.

May the souls of the departed officers rest in peace.

I also extend my heartfelt gratitudeto Mr. President for his support and confidence in me and the Customs Service. My gratitude goes to the Honourable Minister of Finance and Chairman of the NCS Board for the support over the past year. I would also like to acknowledge all our critical stakeholders and the media for their continuous support throughout the year.

Thank you, and I look forward
to more positive outcomes ahead.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *