The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), on Tuesday reiterated that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is fully determined to meet the N944 billion revenue target given it by the federal government for 2015.
Ali, who made this disclosure while reading the riot act to officers and men of the Service, warned his officers against corruption.
Speaking with journalist during his familiarization visits to relevant government agencies, Ali said the revenue target was still realisable although challenges persisted in revenue generation.
He said: “The fact is that we are behind what we are supposed to realise, but we are hopeful that this is our ember months- October, November and December and I believe by the time October returns come in, we will expect a rise in what we have been able to gather. We are hopeful that November will bring some good tidings and also by December we should be able to round up to meet our target, which is N944 billion.”
Speaking on corruption, he said “Corruption has become a general perception with which the public assess the service and this is because our job entails dealing directly with the public. Not all of us are corrupt but the few corrupt ones have given us a generic name. You don’t make money in customs but you earn your income.
“People should know that customs is not a cash cow so purge that of your mind. If you are caught engaging in any act of corruption, such officer will be made to go through the law. There would be no excuse for corruption.”
He further said that issues of favoritism in the service will be non-existent, adding that officers who spent three years in a command would be posted from the unit.
“I’m not satisfied with what I discovered to be your remuneration given the present living condition, but if you chose to take the short cut by corruptly enriching yourselves, there is always a consequence for that but like I said, we can’t improve revenue generation if this leakages persist.
“So revenue has to improve, discipline stepped up, corruption eliminated, then I can have the moral courage to face Mr. President. So give us the opportunity by abiding with all these so that I can meet him for improved welfare on your behalf.”