By Samson Echenim
The Nigeria Customs Service says its operations in Lagos, the country’s business, commercial and financial hub, as well as in the south western part of the country now brings N5.5 billion daily into the coffers of the government.
The hefty daily revenue generation is helped by improved compliance to trade regulations by freight forwarders and licenced customs agents, the Customs Service said, adding that its trade enforcement units and formations across Lagos and South-west Nigeria alone were responsible for this daily takings.
Nigeria has recently put in place an Ease of Doing Business programme to make it easier for businesses to navigate the cumbersome and often opaque operational landscape of setting up and operating business in the country. A major part of this programme has been to reduce the bottlenecks of importing and exporting goods in and out of the country through the ports.
Kaycee Ekekezie, Assistant Comptroller General in charge of Zone A, disclosed the increased Customs revenue generation during a meeting with freight forwarders under the aegis of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) on Thursday.
She said a higher level of compliance to trade rules in cargo declaration and documentation by freight forwarders and licenced customs agents made the feat possible for the trade facilitation and tariffs collection agency.
She said, “The role that freight forwarders play in release of goods make them very critical part of every trade policy fomulation by government. The Federal government’s Ease of Doing Business policy was launched at Apapa Port in March this year and we are already seeing good results.
“The Customs Service has deployed Information Technology to meet the policy target. Today, there is higher compliance with customs regulations in declarations. We now generate N5.5 billion every day because people are beginning to comply.
“The level of compliance we have seen recently, shows that together we can achieve great results for our country. The Nigeria Customs Service under the current management made over N1 trillion in 2018. In the past, the Customs never hit that mark.
“So, we can see that with proper documentation and correct declarations of goods, we will achieve higher goals together, ” she told the freight forwarders.
To consolidate on the positive trend, Ekekezie enjoined the freight forwarders to adhere to all extent regulations as provided by the federal government.
“And this will not be a problem when we put mechanisms in place. This will lead to improved national economic system. We must avoid cutting corners and encourage integrity in all levels of the business,” she said.