Closure of the land borders notwithstanding, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) remitted N1.56 trillion into the Federal Government coffers in 2020.
He said the service overshot its N1.38 trillion target and the N1.34 trillion it made in 2019.
Ali said the feat followed resoluteness and adaptation in the face of the global health challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CG stated that the partial border closure, which forced ships that could have been smuggled through the porous gateways to come through the sea and airports, resulting in improving income.
Prior to the commencement of the border drill on August 20, 2019, the agency’s revenue hovered around N4 billion and N5 billion but now rakes in between N5 billion and N9 billion daily.
Ali said diplomatic engagements that took place during the closure yielded a number of positive results, including a commitment to comply with the ECOWAS Protocol on Transit and Operationalisation of joint border patrols at both sides of the boundary.
He expressed the service’s readiness to faithfully implement the outcome of the engagements as the borders reopen for economic activities.
The Customs boss added that the intelligence gathered during the period and the introduction of e-Customs, whose components include installation of scanners at all entry points, would enhance border security and boost trade.
Ali hinted that the Ministry of Finance had purchased three new scanners, while the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would buy four others and establish a control centre for monitoring of all scanning sites to enhance the economy, especially the agriculture sector.
“NCS appreciates and commends the leadership of CBN for this strategic intervention in the interest of the nation.
“In the same vein, the service’s efforts to prevent the entry of items that could compromise the security of our citizens, economy, and well-being of our people resulted in the seizures of 4,304 assorted items with a paid duty value of N28.28 billion.
“These seizures included arms, ammunition, illicit drugs, used clothing, vegetable oil, frozen poultry, and foreign rice.”