The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has recorded its highest revenue collection ever of over N1 trillion as against N770 billion target set for 2017.
The NCS Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, announced this at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, the revenue realised this year is a historic figure ever made in the NCS.
“NCS has recorded the highest revenue collection ever of N1,012,259,006,779.74 with five more working days to the end of 2017.
“This spectacular performance in revenue collection shows N241,685,276,289.74 over the N770,573,730,490 target for the year and well above the N898,673,857,431.07 collected in 2016.
“(This is) Despite the economic recession experienced earlier in the year, with low volume of imports and restriction placed on 41 items from accessing Forex.
“The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), retired Col. Hameed Ali, undertook some strategic measures in terms of restructuring and repositioning the service for efficient service delivery which resulted in this historic revenue figure from the service this year,” Attah said.
He said that for the CGC to achieve this feat, took some measures like strategic redeployment of officers, restraining of the operatives of Customs Intelligence Unit were done, among others.
Mr. Attah said that the NCS strived to deliver, adding that sometimes even at the risk of sustaining serious injuries or even death.
“Sadly in the process of enforcing the laws, six officers fell in the line of duty this year,’’ the spokesman said.
He said that the Customs boss had directed sustained onslaught against smugglers, especially at this festive period.
Mr. Attah, however, said that in the spirit of the season, all stakeholders were enjoined to reflect on the value of patriotism and resolved to avoid all forms of smuggling.
“It is clear that given the right leadership and better support from Nigerians, NCS will continue to play a more pivotal role in the security and economic well-being of the nation,” he said.
EFF demands the sacking of South Africa’s finance minister Nene.
South Africa’s political players are headed for a collision course over the fate of the finance minister, who the Treasury on Tuesday said is traveling to Indonesia for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting.
Pressure has been piling on finance minister Nhlanhla Nene to resign, following his disclosure to the state-capture inquiry commission, that he had met the Gupta brothers between 2010 and 2013.
The Business Day on Monday reported that Nene had asked president Cyril Ramaphosa to relieve him of his duties as finance minister.
Ramaphosa’s office responded and said they were not aware of Nene’s request.
And on Tuesday, Treasury spokesman Jabulani Sikhakhane said the finance minister was expected to arrive in Indonesia on Wednesday.
Nene is also expected to read the mid-term budget later this month.
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The news that Nene is continuing with his duties is likely to anger opposition supporters including the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), whose leader, Julius Malema on Monday asked Ramaphosa to sack Nene.
In a written letter to Ramaphosa, Malema argued that the country, whose economy is in recession, had very serious challenges that needed a credible finance minister to address them.
‘‘Public servants at all spheres and levels of government will have no obligation to responsibly manage state fiscal resources under a compromised minister of finance,’‘ Malema said.
He then added that that Nene can no longer inspire much needed confidence to revive the economy.
‘‘The Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS)‚ which is supposed to be a statement to build confidence amongst all important economic role players‚ cannot‚ and should not‚ be delivered by a minister who was part of the Gupta criminal syndicate.”
For the EFF, Nene’s position as finance minister is no longer tenable and they are determined to win what they are now calling a battle.
Malema had threatened on Sunday that streets protests might be organised to demand for the removal of Nene as finance minister.
The Gupta brothers are accused of using their friendship with former president Jacob Zuma to influence government decisions including unfairly winning state contrcats.
Both Zuma and the Guptas have denied any wrongdoing.
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South Africa: Ex-minister reveals Zuma’s Gupta deals.
South Africa’s Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Wednesday he was fired by former president Jacob Zuma for refusing to approve contracts that would financially benefit the Gupta family, friends of Zuma accused of corruption.