The Nigerian Customs Service said on Thursday it generated N573 billion between January and May this year.
The customs has a 2020 revenue target of N957 billion.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), disclosed this during an interactive session with the Senate Committee on Customs in Abuja.
However, the committee kicked against the alleged non-remittance of operating surplus every year by the service.
One of the lawmakers pointed out that the customs failed to remit N34 billion operating surplus recorded in 2019.
Hameed, who was represented at the forum by the Deputy Comptroller-General, Human Resources, Sanusi Umar, said customs was able to realise more than half of the targetted revenue for the year due to blockage of identified leakages.
He said: “As a result of blocking of identified areas of leakages and free flow of traffic for importers during the COVID-19 lockdown our revenue generation increased rapidly to about N6 billion to N7 billion per day, making us to rake in N573 billion within five months which is more than half of the N957 billion targeted revenues for us in 2020.
“The target given to the Service in terms of revenue was N1.6 trillion but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the target was reviewed to N957 billion.”
However, the committee questioned the Customs chief on non-remittance of surpluses made every year, particularly in 2018 and 2019.
Specifically, a member of the committee, Francis Fadaunsi, who is a former Customs officer, asked Ali why the agency did not reflect the surpluses in its reports presented to the committee.
He said: “In 2019 alone, you made surplus of N34 billion, which is not reflected in 2020 reports before us.”
Another member of the committee, Sulaiman Kwari, challenged the Customs officials to explain what they do with such surpluses.
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