The Nigeria Customs Service has said it generated a whooping sum of N115 billion in September alone, the highest so far since the closure of the country’s borders.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, disclosed this when he received the All Progressives Congress (APC) chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, in Abuja on Thursday.
This is even as the Customs boss vowed that the borders would remain shut until neighboring ports comply with ECOWAS protocols which they all subscribed to.
He explained that since the closure of the borders, the revenue being generated by the service was increasing on daily basis.
He said there was never a time NCS generated the revenue or much money like it realised in September.
Mr Ali said the measures taken had compelled those who used to smuggle things into the country to go to the ports and pay necessary duties.
He said the aim is to ensure that the closure is sustained up till January 2020.
Mr Ali said the main objective of the border closure was to ensure that neighbouring countries complied with the ECOWAS protocols on transit.
He explained that the protocol on transit mandated customs in the neighbouring countries to escort items coming to Nigeria to the borders so the importers would not evade payment of duties.
The customs boss added that the closure of the borders had helped to reduce the incessant attacks by bandits.
He said this measure had helped in curtailing the influx of arms and ammunition into the country.
He said the step taken by the joint border security operatives headed by NCS has also reduced the importation of some illicit drugs into the country.
On his part National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Mr Adams Oshiomole, has said that Nigerian borders with neighbouring countries should remain closed until they comply with ECOWAS protocols.
He explained that his party is strongly behind the border closure and all other reforms being carried out by the service.
He added that such action should be sustained for economic growth of the country.
He said the APC under his leadership is impressed and has resolved to identify with the NCS on the feat recorded so far.
“The state must have control over the economy and Nigeria is absolutely right in taking the decision having been victims of expired rice brought in through the porous borders.
“It is a shame that after spending much to reposition agriculture, we still allow people to import expired rice into our country.
“We are lucky to have a president who told us to consume what we produce in the country in order to grow our economy.
” People are complaining that the prices of food commodities have gone up, our farmers should make money from their sweat.
“Over the years, farmers got good harvest, sometime with right prices but smugglers often crash the prices,” he said.
The chairman urged Nigerians to go into farming and take advantage of the current good price of food produce.
He said the policy of Buhari led government would eradicate poverty and take prosperity to the rural people.
According to him, Nigeria as a country comes first, second and third before any other thing, there are rules of the game and the rules must be followed.
“NCS is a critical organisation to ensure we do not export prosperity abroad and import poverty to the country.
” Yes, Nigeria is a big brother to other African countries and the big brother should not be poisoned through the importation of expired rice to the country.
“Buhari’s support base is the masses, the commoners and this policy is for them, that is why we are supporting it,” he added.