Border closure: N1.5trn revenue by customs proves Buhari right – BMO

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Border Closure

The 2020 revenue figure of N1.5 trillion generated by the Nigeria Customs Ser­vice (NCS) has proved that President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to shut the nation’s border for 16 months was a masterstroke, according to the Buhari Me­dia Organisation (BMO)

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akin­siju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said it was gratifying that the customs earned more revenue last year from cargoes that came in through the nation’s ports contrary to the misgivings of some stakeholders.

It said: “Most of these cargoes used to be shipped to the Benin Republic from where they were smuggled into the country before the borders were closed tempo­rarily to put systems in place to check revenue leakages.

“That the agency exceed­ing the 2020 revenue target of N1.38 trn by nearly N200bn to top N1.5 trn in spite of a glob­al coronavirus crisis as well as a resultant national lock­down is a confirmation that the partial border closure was a right move after all.

“We invite Nigerians to note that verified data from the NCS showed that before 20th August 2019 when the border closure began, the agency was raking in between N4bn and N5bn daily but generated be­tween N5bn and N9bn daily after the borders were shut.

“In fact, it is on record that the highest ever daily receipt from Custom was recorded sometime in September last year when the agency collect­ed N9.2bn in one day. This has never happened before and it showed that rather than create a shortfall in revenue, the border closure shored up Customs receipts in 2020.

“So it would be foolhardy for anyone to dismiss Presi­dent Buhari’s decision to tem­porarily shut the borders as a poorly thought-out one based on NCS’ 2020 report card.”

The group also hailed the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (Retd), for keying into the Buhari administration’s economic policy thrust of raising non-oil revenue and fighting corruption since his appointment in August 2015.

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