Thursday , 3 March 2016
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FG Begins Performance-Based Incentive Plan for Customs

FG Begins Performance-Based Incentive Plan for Customs

In a bid to significantly increase the level of revenue generation from the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has disclosed that the agency is working on the introduction of performance related pay to motivate improved collections on the part of the NCS and to reduce corruption.
The Minister explained that a review of the constraints currently impacting performance of the NCS had been undertaken. “This exercise found that the provision of modern equipment, elimination of inappropriate waivers and remuneration emerged as issues,” she stated. She disclosed further that a consulting firm has been hired and is working with the NCS to develop and implement a performance-based incentive plan to ensure that there was an alignment of interest between individual customs officers and the objectives of the Government.
Speaking at a Senate Hearing to review revenue projections in the 2016 Budget held in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister further explained, “appropriate remuneration of revenue collecting agencies to align the interests of staff with maximising collections is critical to motivate performance and to reduce temptation to compromise”. She told Senators that such a structure already existed in the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which was working well and needed to be extended to Customs.
The Minister also highlighted that, being an import-dependent nation; there is room for improvement in revenue generation from the country’s ports. She stated that there was a disconnect between the volume of imports and the recorded revenues from NCS which would be addressed by the new strategy being deployed. She expressed commitment to the provision of all modern equipment needed to minimise discretion in customs assessments and thus enhance revenue. Corroborating the Minister’s position, the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd) said the authorities are looking into areas of improving the performance of the NCS through deployment of technology solutions, training, upgrading of the agency’s infrastructure and improved welfare.
During the same hearing, the Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Mr. Tunde Fowler, stated that the management of the FIRS had moved the achievement threshold for its performance related pay from 60 per cent to 80 per cent. The implication of this, according to him, is that staff would only be entitled to benefit from performance incentives if at least 80 per cent of the agency’s revenue target for the year is achieved.