National Public Relations, Customs, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi.

The Federal Government through the Nigeria Customs Service has collected over N68billion between January and June, 2022 from excise duty on beer, spirits and other alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and tobacco, among several others.

The service has also hinted that it would soon begin the collection of the newly approved tariff on calls and data recently announced by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.

The excise duty is statutorily levied on the manufacture, sale and consumption of goods that fall under the excise control, which include but not limited to beer, spirits, alcoholic beverages, tobacco and cigarettes, which are collected across all the 22 commands of the service across the federation.

The service has also within the six-month period collected a total revenue of N1.3trillion into the federation account, covering import and excise duty, fees and levies. This represents an increase of N289.4billion or 28.83per cent growth rate when compared with the N1.003trillion collected in the comparative period of 2021.

Speaking while presenting the half year report of the service covering January-June, 2022, National Public Relations Officer of the service, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi, also disclosed that Customs has commenced collections from extant traders producing carbonated and sugary drinks since June, 2022, which was newly added under schedule five of the Common External Tariff CET. It was gathered that more than N1billion has So far been collected since its introduction in June.

He however announced that the service was yet to commence the collection of other revenues from telecommunication, especially the new tariff on calls and data, as the digital network services are yet to be collected.

He said: “The Nigeria Customs Service is expected to start collecting revenue on these products and services as soon as the modalities for collection are put in place. Duties from these revenue sources are expected to boost our collections in the current year.

“Of the 42 Free Trade Zones in Nigeria only 25 are active, with 15 of them operating in Zone ‘A’, four in Zone ‘B’, five in Zone ‘C’ and one in Zone ‘D’. in addition to providing employment opportunities for Nigerians, these Special Economic Zones are expected to engender the transfer of technology, help build local capacity, provide viable market for other local producers of raw materials and increase the quality of goods which can potentially be available in the local market on the payment of relevant duties and taxes.”

On enforcement and anti-smuggling activities, the image maker noted that there have been remarkable interventions in the anti-smuggling activities of the service, which led to the seizure of various goods within the review period as a result of what the service termed as regulatory and policy infringements with a total Duty Paid Value DPV of N39.2billion.

Some of the seized goods include narcotics and other illicit drugs with a DPV of N8.8billion, several bags of foreign parboiled rice with a DPV of N8.3billion and some illegally imported of dangerous pharmaceuticals with a DPV of N7.6billion.

Other seized items include used clothing materials with a DPV of N4.1billion, petroleum products with a DPV of N3.7billion, textiles and made up fabrics with a DPV of N2.6billion and motor vehicles with a duty paid value of N1.9billion.

On illegal wildlife trafficking, anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism, he said

“The service in collaboration with the United States Embassy in Nigeria, the British and German Governments enabled the creation of a Special Wildlife Office which has spearheaded an intelligence driven approach to curbing the illicit trafficking and trading in endangered species.

“Their efforts have led to the arrest of 12 foreign and local suspects, the confiscation of 1,236.5 kg of pangolin scales and 145 kg of ivory. All suspects have since been charged to court and await conviction.

“The Anti-Money Laundering Unit AML of the service has recorded tremendous successes in the period under review. They made seizures of $339,800, 12,000 Pounds Sterling, 3,013,500 RYD, 20,005 CFA, and 133 Automated Teller Machine ATM cards. Seven persons have been arrested for alleged violation of the Anti-Money Laundering Act and have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC for prosecution.”

 Recall that the service was given a revenue target of N1.03trillion for the 2022 fiscal year, which 80.78per cent higher than the figures of 2021.