The Edo/Delta Command of the Nigerian Customs Service says it has generated N1.8 billion revenue in January 2020.Mr Alajogun Olaniyi, the Custom Area Controller,Edo/Delta Command disclosed this to newsmen on Monday in Warri.Olaniyi also said the command had been saddled with the responsibility of collecting N2.7 billion monthly amounting to N32 billion target in 2020.
“In January, we made N1.8 billion, it is always like that at the beginning of every year all over the places because businessmen are expecting what budget and government policies will look like.“Before now, our monthly collection used to be N1.5 billion and for the entire year, we are supposed to collect N18 billion.“On Tuesday, the headquarters rolled out the target for 2020 and Edo/Delta command has been saddled with the responsibility of collecting N2.7 billion every month and a yearly collection of N32 billion.
“The target given to the Nigerian customs service for this year is almost N2 trillion hence the upward review of what every command must collect.“The revenue that we will be collecting will largely be based on the volume of cargoes that we are able to get considering the peculiar nature of the Warri port.
“It is not very active, but we are hopeful that things will get better.“However, on our part, the best we can do is to ensure that the little cargoes that comes, we collect all the collectable revenues by putting in our best expertise and making sure no revenue that is supposed to go into government coffers goes untapped,” he said.The customs area controller said the command generated N22 billion in 2019 as against the target of N18 billion.
“The command had a revenue target of N18,02 billion in 2019. The total revenue collected within the period under review is N22,181 billion.“Comparatively, the revenue collected for the year under review is N6.35 billion higher than that of 2018 which was N16 billion with same revenue target of N18.023 billion.
“Reasons being that we have determined that whatever little things we have, due diligence must be done with them to make sure we collect maximum duties,” he said.Speaking on the border closure, Olaniyi said that though the development had led to increase in revenue generation of the customs service, but it had no direct impact on the operations of the Edo/Delta command.According to him, before the border closure, the command had not been getting much cargoes from larger vessels because of the shallowness of the Escravos channel.
“So there is no way the border closure could have changed that narrative, because the obstacles which is the shallowness of the channels that are preventing the vessels from coming into Warri port is still there.“Edo/Delta command is essentially a revenue command and not an enforcement command, we do not have patrol team on the road.
“The seizure we can only make can be from goods that come through the sea and because of the low level of activities in this place, we do not actually make seizures,” he said.Olaniyi commended the Federal Government for taking the bold step to dredge the Warri river.
He said that the development would galvanised activities in the Warri port and by extension the command, as soon as the project was completed.The customs Controller also commended the leadership of the custom service for providing the necessary welfare and logistics for officers and men of the command.Olaniyi urged his officers and men to reciprocate the generosity by doing their job diligently to achieve the general goals and objectives of the Nigeria customs service.