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Customs to spend N706.43bn in 2024

Customs

By Mathew Brangyet

The Nigerian Customs Service has presented N706.43 billion to the Senate Committee on Customs at the National Assembly as its 2024 budget.

Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi who defended the estimated budget figure at the committee sitting on Tuesday, said attention will be focused on consolidating carried-over projects, increasing staff welfare by improving and motivating officers’ performance, and integrating technologies into Customs processes.

The Comptroller General pledged to surpass the revenue target of N5.079 trillion in 2024, adding that the revenue target for 2024 is 27.75 percent higher than the target of 2023.

Adeniyi outlined strategies to achieve the 2024 target, including implementing the National Single Window championed by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

He also harps on strategies to agonize and standardize Customs processes, port decongestion, collaboration with other agencies for efficiency and competitiveness, anti-smuggling operations, integrating ICT into operations, investing in capacity building, and stakeholder engagement, among others.

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The CG also emphasized supporting local production and taking food security seriously.

He stated, “We intend to grant waivers to vehicle owners to pay duties within a specific time to avoid sanctions and to regularize the importation of vehicles through payment of duties.”

Regarding Officers’ welfare, CG stated that Officers will be encouraged in various ways to increase efficiency and improve their well-being, noting that this would be done through awards, promotions, and payment of allowances.

He added, “The service plans to recruit 1,600 personnel in 2024. The low figure is due to the small vacancies we have available. These vacancies are primarily for junior staff who will carry out Customs operations and guard duties. In subsequent years, more recruitment exercises will be carried out.”

Adewale explained that the Service had a shortfall by 12.62 percent in its 2023 revenue target, citing concessions in section 99 of the Common External Tariff (CET), import duty exemption certificates, cash crunch, general elections, and other factors affecting revenue generation negatively. He assured of a positive outcome in 2024.

Senator Isa Jibrin, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs, applauded the CG for the progress and success achieved in his brief tenure in Office, beckoning him to perform better as the house will support him in terms of remuneration and infrastructure to meet up with the 2024 target.

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