The anti-corruption posture of the present administration has started yielding fruits with three Federal Government agencies operating in the nation’s maritime industry generating N2.751trillion in two years.
The agencies comprising the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated N2.751trillion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) coffers in 2016 and 2017, outstripping previous accruals.
The revenue generated by these agencies in the year under review was unprecedented in the history of these agencies.
For instance, NIMASA generated a whooping N21.805 billion in 13 months and remitted same into the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government.
A breakdown of the payments sighted by The Daily Times showed that the agency paid N9.975 billion, $38.272 million to the CRF within the period under review. Also, on June 1 last year, the agency remitted N5billion into the CRF.
Similarly, NIMASA paid N4.975 billion on June 2, 2016, $7 million on November 22, 2016 and $15 million on April 19, 2017. In the same vein, the agency on July 18, 2017 remitted $16.272 million to the CRF.
Further checks revealed that in 2015, NIMASA’s contributions to the CRF was just N2billion and $15 million respectively. Another payment of $24.025 million described as “direct debit” by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was received from NIMASA accounts.
On its part, the NPA declared that it generated N299.56 billion as revenue in the 2017 fiscal year. Its 2017 revenue exceeded the 2016 figure of N162.20 billion by 84.65 per cent, the highest generated by the NPA in the last five years.
The authority explained that the 2017 figure is made up of revenues from traffic, harbours, administrative and other sources in the sum of N136.04 billion, N66.80 billion, N86.06 billion and N10.75 billion respectively.
The 2017 revenues of the authority exceeded the 2016 figure of N162.20 billion by 84.65 per cent, the highest generated by the NPA in the past five years.
The NPA had in 2013 generated the sum of N154.50 billion. and increased it to N159.30 billion and N180.50 billion in 2014 and 2015 respectively. The authority’s revenue however, dipped to N162.20 billion in 2016.
The Nigeria Customs Services, on its part, generated N898 billion as revenue in 2016, including Value Added Tax (VAT).
According to the service, if VAT is removed, duty collection only is N720bn, which represents a percentage of 76.90 per cent.
Also, the service exceeded its 2017 target by generating another N1.37 trillion in 2017, which is N241.68 billion higher than the 2017 target, exceeding the N898.67 billion collected in 2016.
The service had announced earlier that it generated a total of N1.12 trillion between January and December 26.
But speaking in Lagos earlier in the year, the national public relations officer of the service, Joseph Attah, announced that five days to the end of 2017, it generated additional N25 billion to bring its total revenue generated for the year to N1.37 trillion.
He stated that the 2017 revenue was made possible through the strict deployment of the digital identification method, which enabled officers to identify consignments such as vehicles, using the mandatory Vehicle Identification Number.
Attah said that declarations on vessels increased significantly in 2017 due to the use of digital application to locate vessels on Nigerian waters and request for payment of appropriate duties as data of the vessels were available on the digital platform.
According to him, the service generated this revenue against the backdrop of several challenges, including the ban on 41 items of import from access to foreign exchange.
“For instance, rice which raked in N56.8 billion in 2014, contributed only N265 million to the Customs revenue in 2017,” he said.
Attah pointed out that the enforcement of fiscal policies in 2017 led to a decrease in the average duty rate from 12.54 per cent to 11.1 percent in line with the lowering of duty rates for national projects in the agriculture and the automotive sectors.