As Senate Asks Customs to Stop Concessioning of Import Duty
*** Threatens non passage of Budget of Customs fails to Submit Personnel Cost, over N30 Billion on unaccounted funds for ongoing Projects
*** Asks it to complete the old 338 Projects before embarking on new 171 projects
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – THE Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, retd told the Senate yesterday that it has targeted a total of N1.465 trillion to be raked into the Federation account this year, 2021.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja when he appeared before Senator Francis Alimikhena, All Progressives Congress, APC, Edo North Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff to defend the 2021 Budget of Customs Service, the NCS Boss said that the N1.465 trillion consists of N1.267 trillion for Federation and N198.00 billion for Non- Federation.
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 %.
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.
The Senate Committee on its part, took a swipe at the Customs over its concessions of collection of import duties, saying there is nowhere in the world where such is carried out, adding that it is even unacceptable where such an assignment is contracted to foreigners to handle instead of Nigerians or staff of the agency to be engaged.
Speaking during the budget defense, 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, 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.