Customs CG appears before the Senate
Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hamid Ali (retd)

….Targets N1.465 trillion in 2021, to spend N242.45 billion

…Pushes for downward Review of Tariff on new imported vehicles from 35% to 5% Levy, CG tells Senate

By Henry Umoru

THE Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, retd told  the Senate that the revenue generating agency has asked the Federal Government to reintroduce the abolished N1.50k per litre imposed on Petroleum  Products in accordance with the Petroleum Product Tax Regime of 2004.

According to NCS, the move is to enable it expand the revenue source of the government, even as it said that it has the potential to narrow or supplement government deficit budget.

Speaking in Abuja when he appeared before the Senator Francis Alimikhena, All Progressives Congress, APC, Edo North Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff to defend the 2021 Budget of Customs Service, Hameed Ali  who reiterated that the nonfunctional Scanners at the various Customs’ scanning sites has adversely contributed to the Service’s inability to carry out effective examination for selective consignments, however said that if purchased, the NCS will make them available in Apapa and Portharcourt.

He told the Senate that the Service has recommended for the downward tariff review of the current 35% Levy on new and luxury imported vehicles to 5%, also the downward tariff review of transit vehicles for transport of more than 10 persons (Trucks Inclusive) from 35% duty to 10% as part of moves to encourage licit massive importation of vehicles into Nigeria and further increase the revenue base of the Government.

Ali disclosed that the agency has targeted a total of N1.465 trillion to be raked into the Federation account this year, 2021 and that the N1.465 trillion consists of N1.267 trillion for Federation and N198.00 billion for Non- Federation.

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According to him, when compared with the 2020 revenue target, the 2021 revenue target is higher by N85 billion or 5.80 Percent, just as he said that the Service has proposed a budget expenditure of N242.45 billion for the 2021 fiscal year and would be sourced from 7% cost of collection for 2021 which is N96 94 billion; 60% CISS, put at N47. 01 billion ; 2% VAT Share of NCS which is N07.40 billion; Outstanding Liabilities of N91.10 billion, totally, N242.45 billion.

Giving a breakdown, he explained that the expected income will be utilized as follows: Personnel cost, N99.72 billion, representing 41.13% ; Overhead Cost is N19.53 Billion, representing 8.06%; Capital Cost, N123.20 billion, representing 50.81%, with a grand total of N242.45 billion, representing 100.0 %.

The Senate Committee on its part, took a swipe at the Customs over its concessioning of collection of import duties, saying there is nowhere in the world where such is carried out, adding that it is even unacceptable that such an assignment was contracted to foreigners to handle instead of Nigerians or staff of the agency to be engaged.

Speaking during the budget defence, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Alimikhena threatened that the Senate will not pass the Customs budget, especially  the Capital if it fails to forward to the Committee before Monday, Details of capital projects for 2021; the staff nominal roll, Personnel Cost, over 30 billion unaccounted funds for ongoing projects, adding that money appropriated for anything especially for recruitment must be utilized and accounted for.

Speaking further, the Committee asked the Customs Service not to execute its proposed 171 new projects when it has 338 old and uncompleted projects, adding that old projects must not be abandoned and new ones being proposed in line with the position of President Muhammadu Buhari that old projects must be completed, with no abandoned projects.

The Committee has however summoned the NCS boss, Col. Ali to appear before it on Monday next week with all the required documents.

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