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Nigeria Customs Service Generates ₦1.5trn In 2020

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Wednesday, January 6 said it generated the sum of ₦1,562,115,419,216 for the year 2020.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, January 6 the Public Relations Officer of the service, Joseph Attah, said the generated revenue was over the target of ₦1,380,765,353,462 and over the sum of ₦1,342,006,918,504 generated in 2019 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the statement, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, attributed the feat to what he described as a result of the resolute pursuit of what was right and the willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by COVID-19.

The NCS spokesman said the agency’s revenue generation profile had continued to be on the rise annually based on the ongoing reforms in the service.

He noted that the partial border closure which forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports raised revenue collection from ports.

“Before the commencement of the border drill on August 20, 2019, revenue generation was between N4bn to N5bn but now NCS generates between N5bn to N9bn daily,” the statement partly read.

“Diplomatic engagements that took place during the partial land border closure yielded many positive results, including the commitment to comply with the ECOWAS protocol on transit operationalisation of joint border patrols at both sides of the border.”

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

PRESS STATEMENT

Nigeria Customs Service generated the sum of N1,562,115,419,216.32 for the year 2020. Amount generated is over the target of N1,380,765,353,462.00 over the sum of N1,342,006,918,504.55 generated in 2019 despite the covid-19 pandemic.

Commenting on this feat, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) described it as a result of the resolute pursuit of what is right and willingness to adapt to changes brought about by global health challenges occasioned by covid-19.

The service revenue generation profile has continued to be on the rise annually as the ongoing reforms in the Service insist on:

Strategic deployment of officers strictly using the standard operating procedure.

Strict enforcement of extant guidelines by the tariff and trade department.

Automation of the Customs process thereby eliminating vices associated with the manual process.

Robust stakeholder sensitization resulting in more informed/voluntary compliance.

Increased disposition of officers and men to put national interest above selves.

The partial border closure which has forced cargoes that could have been smuggled through the porous borders to come through the sea and airports raised revenue collection from ports.

Before the commencement of the border drill on 20th August 2019, revenue generation was between N4 billion to N5 billion but now NCS generate between N5 billion to N9 billion daily.

Diplomatic engagements that took place during the partial land border closure yielded many positive results, including a commitment to comply with the ECOWAS Protocol on Transit. Operationalization of joint border patrols at both sides of the border.

The teams are required to share intelligence and ensure prevention of transit of prohibited goods into the neighbour’s territory. Accordingly Service wishes to express its readiness to strictly implement the outcome of the diplomatic engagements as the land borders open for movement of cargoes.

Intelligence gathered during the period and the introduction of the e-Customs whose components include installation of scanners at all entry points will enhance border security and boost national trade facilitation.

Already Ministry of Finance has purchased three (3) new Scanners. Interestingly, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has also expressed commitment to purchasing four (4) Scanners and establish the control center for monitoring all scanning sites in their bid to boost the national economy, especially the agricultural sector. This means that within the next six (6) months, NCS will have about seven (7) functional Scanners to be mounted at strategic entry points even before the full deployment of e-Customs components which will see to the deployment of 135 modern Scanners.

NCS appreciates and commends the leadership of CBN for this strategic intervention in the interest of the nation.

In the same vein, the Service efforts to prevent the entry of items that could compromise the Security of our citizens, Economy and the well-being of our people resulted in the seizures of 4,304 assorted items with a duty paid value of N28,287,285,847.52.

These seizures include arms, ammunition, illicit drugs, used clothing, vegetable oil, frozen poultry and foreign rice among others that have grave consequences on the economic security and well-being of Nigerians.

While we give assurances of total commitment to the course of protecting national security and economy, we call on Nigerians, especially the business community to support the NCS as our borders open to African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) in order to benefit from the trade agreement and other cross border activities.

Signed:

DC, Joseph Attah

Public Relations Officer

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Bitcoin Market Hits $1 Trillion In Value

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The total value of all bitcoin topped $1.0 trillion on Friday, capping a spectacular record-breaking week for the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

The digital unit zoomed to another record pinnacle at $54,182, meaning that the combined value of all bitcoin now stands at $1.002 trillion according to data provider Coinmarketcap.com.

More to follow . . .

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CBN Orders Banks To Close All Accounts Transacting In Cryptocurrency

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has ordered all banks to close accounts of anyone who transacts in cryptocurrency.

The order was contained in a circular to banks and other financial institutions, signed on Friday by the Director of Banking Supervision, Bello Hassan, and it is expected to take effect immediately.

According to the CBN, dealing in cryptocurrency or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria circular of January 12, 2017, ref FPR/DIR/GEN/CIR/06/010 which cautioned Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs), other Financial Institutions and members of the public on the risk associated with transactions in cryptocurrency refers.

“Further to earlier regulatory directions on the subject, the bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.

“Accordingly, all DMB’s NBFI’s or OFI’s are directed to identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.

“Please, note that breaches of this directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions. This letter is with immediate effect”.

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Sale Of Govt Assets Will Boost Economy And Benefit Nigerians, Says Finance Minister

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The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Friday, January 22 said the Federal Government’s planned sale of public assets will benefit Nigerians and help to boost the economy.

In an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mrs Ahmed, who is also the Minister of Budget and National Planning, said some government assets are currently moribund and provide little or no value to Nigerians in their current state.

“There are some government assets that are dead that can be sold to the private sector to be reactivated and put to use for the benefit of Nigerians,” the Minister said.

“So we are looking at different – and I am a member of the National Council on Privatisation – we are looking at different categories of government assets that government has not been able to manage, that are lying down and in some cases even completely rundown, to cede them off to the private sector.

On January 12, Mrs Ahmed had revealed the government’s plan to sell public assets to partly finance the N13.58 trillion 2021 budget.

On Friday, Ms Ahmed stressed that the “intention is not just funding the budget, it is to reactivate these assets and hand it over and have them bring contributions to the growth in the economy.”

She added that the Bureau of Public Enterprises will begin to coordinate with other arms of government on the asset sales in the first quarter of the year.

” . . . in the last week of December, we had a meeting of the National Council on Privatisation where we approved the annual work plan, the 2021 work plan, for that Bureau of Public Enterprises,” she said.

“And I guess it is in this first quarter that the BPE will now be engaging the Senate committee and other committees they work with to say this is our work plan for the year.”

In a statement on Sunday, civil society group SERAP had asked the National Assembly to stop the federal government from selling public assets to fund the 2021 budget.

The group said the government should, instead, look to identify areas in the budget to cut, such as salaries and allowances for public officials.

‘Nothing new’

On Monday, Osun State Lawmaker had defended the federal govrnment’s plan to sell public assets to fund the budgets.

“The issue of the sale of assets is not new,” he said during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“Even in the previous budgets, there have always been other sources of revenue and the sales of assets is one of such.”

But he stressed that the government must be transparent throughout the process.

“ . . . the critical issue we need to look at, is ‘What assets are we selling?’ Some assets are already liabilities, so what are we keeping them for? That is my humble opinion,” the lawmaker added. “You have to tell us which assets we are looking at.”

A deficit budget

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the 2021 budget into law in late December after it had been passed by the National Assembly.

About one-third of the budget is devoted to capital expenditure but critics maintain the government hasn’t done enough to curb unnecessary spending, especially around cuts in salaries and allowances for public officials.

With oil revenues still affected by the pandemic, the government has said it will borrow N5.6 trillion from domestic and foreign lenders to fund the budget.

The sale of moribund assets is expected to provide additional funding.

The National Arts Theatre and the Tafawa Balewa Square are some assets that could be put up for sale by the government.

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