he newly appointed Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner of Customs and Border Control has a full in-tray as she brings in her diverse background as the taxman seeks to sustain a significant improvement on customs revenue in the recent months.
Ms. Lilian Anyango Nyawanda takes over from Ms Pamela Ahago who has acted since early last year.
Prior to her appointment, Nyawanda served as the Customs and Excise Manager of Africa Region at the Diageo Centre of Excellence overseeing the customs governance, risk management and international trade operations.
She started off her career in tax at KRA in 2003 as a Revenue Officer (I) after undergoing the Graduate Trainee Program. She rose to an acting Senior Revenue Officer in charge of gateway clearance sheds and cargo handling at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
In September 2009, she moved to Deloitte East Africa Limited as a Senior Consultant for Customs & International Trade. In this role, she handled customs and international trade for clients; interfaced with KRA in resolving clients’ queries and audits.
She was seconded to the East African Breweries Limited (EABL) Supply Chain Department, where she streamlined and managed the import and export process by collaborating with the relevant stakeholders to ensure prompt clearance of goods and compliance with customs law.
In May 2012, Ms. Nyawanda was appointed as the Customs & Bonds Manager at the EABL in charge of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan. She managed tax risks of imports and exports of raw materials and finished goods, ensuring proper management of EABL clearance processes.
In January 2014, Ms. Nyawanda was appointed as the Customs and Tax Manager at EABL with the role of strategic advisor on customs and cross-border transaction matters. In 2019, she moved to Diageo Centre of Excellence to oversee the customs governance, risk management and international trade operations in Africa.
Ms. Nyawanda has also lectured on a part-time basis at the Strathmore School of Law, focusing on tax Law and Customs matters.
She holds a Master of Business Administration (Strategic Management) degree from United States International University and a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) degree from University of Nairobi. She has a Certificate in Customs and Tax Administration from the Kenya School of Revenue Administration (KESRA).
Ms. Nyawanda is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Public Policy & Administration from Walden University and is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi Honor–September 2020).
She brings to KRA a broad wealth of experience gained from public sector, private sector and academia in customs and international trade matters both within the East Africa region and Africa. She has broad experience in customs administration, policy and legislation having been part of various legislative reviews and changes.
Her work is well cut out as KRA has recently ridden on strict border controls and new technology at the port of Mombasa to collect a record custom in the last six months of 2020.
Using technology and the proactivity of customs officers who have been vigilant to ensure contrabands are contained at the port of Mombasa has made the port less attractive for smuggling and international crimes.
Because of the stringent multi agency interventions at the port of Mombasa, the number of concealed and mis-declared goods had not been recorded since August 2019, unlike in the previous years when such interceptions were made frequently.
Additional measures saw customs officers at the port of Mombasa and Southern region collect Sh 200.95 billion surpassing a target of Sh 183.578 billion in the half financial year ending in December 2020.
In December 2020, the Customs & Border Control (C&BC) Department recorded the highest ever monthly revenue collection in KRA’s history by collecting Kshs 60.777 billion, reflecting a growth of 40.9% and registering a revenue surplus of Kshs 12.191 billion.
“This resulted in a cumulative surplus for Customs revenue of Kshs 3.788 billion at the end of December 2020 compared to a deficit of Kshs 8.402 billion as at the end of November 2020,” Mr Githii Mburu, Commissioner General of KRA said in an earlier statement.
Average daily dry revenue progressively increased to Kshs 1.744 million in December 2020, the highest ever daily average collection for Customs Revenue.
Exemptions and remissions in Customs declined by 39.3%, positively affecting the revenue base by Ksh 3.344 billion, which is consistent with efforts by the Government to address the growth of remissions and exemptions which have undermined revenue mobilisation over the years.
KRA has also made the Integrated Customs Management System operational that once fully rolled out it will bring a fundamental change in custom revenue collection.