By Disun Amosun
The House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise has come up with a three-prong recommendation to expand the fiscal scope of the Nigeria Custom Service NCS in the 2024 budget to bring about an increase in its revenue generation drive for the current budget year.
Committee Chairman, Hon. Leke Abejide announced the upping of NCS’ revenue for the period, to include a 2% share of imports VAT on on-goi get capital projects, personnel and operational costs and capital costs.
Abejide also said the NCS total budget of N703,434,216,877.66 (Seven hundred and six billion, four hundred and thirty-four million, two hundred and sixteen thousand and seventy seven naira, sixty-six Kobo) had been reviewed upward for the fiscal year to make the service more aggressive in its revenue drive.
The Committee also recommended the setting up of an anti-smuggling (Joint Task Force) to ensure that payments of imports and other duties are not circumvented from any quarter.
According to the Committee Chairman, more efforts are required in the service’s E-Customs modernisation, including the numbers, quality and functionality of scanners and such equipment deployed to the ports and border areas.
On his part, the Comptroller General (CG), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi reiterated the cumulative effects of 2023 being an election year, cash crunch, Naira re-design and other factors that led to the drastic reduction in Customs revenue.
He said that uncertainties and anxiety towards 2023 elections and suspension of excise on single use plastics, carbonated drinks, telecommunications VAT affected Customs revenue.
He added that other major causes were the Cash crunch, currency redesign which he noted also contributed a lot to revenue loss in the first half of 2023 as the number of incoming Cargo generally reduced drastically in the year under review.
CG Adeniyi said the revenue projection was N3.669 trillion but the Service collected N3.202 trillion from January to December 2023 which shows N4062.9 billion negative variance below target due to the factors listed.
He said the NCS has done its best to meet targets but were hampered by the factors which include Import Duty Exemption.