Customs Target N1.4trn Revenue As House Insists On N1.68trn
The House of Representatives Committee on Customs has retained N1.68 trillion as proposed projected revenue in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) 2021 budget.
This came after the request by the NCS Comptroller General (CG), Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) to reduce it to N1.4 trillion in 2021 because of unforeseen circumstances experienced in 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic.
He said, the NCS target won’t be too high to avoid uncertainties experienced in 2020.
He therefore said, N1.4 trillion be retained unless favourable conditions enabled the collection of higher revenues.
The CG maintained that NCS doesn’t want to be too ambitious adding that, anything collected beyond the target will be reflected.
A review of the NCS 2020 budget performance as presented by the CG indicated that the initial approved revenue target was N1.679 trillion which was later revised to N1.380 trillion due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Service collected a total revenue of N1.211 trillion for the period of January to December.
“When compared with the approved revenue target of the same period January to December 2019, the Service surpassed its target by N114.78 billion or 10.47%”.
“The revenue target for NCS in 2021 financial year is set at N1.465 trillion, consisting of N.267 trillion for Federation and N198.00 billion for Non-Federation,” he said.
However, members of the committee insisted that the N1.68 trillion which is the same with the 2020 revenue will be retained.
A member of the committee, Rep. Mukhtar Ahmed said the customs will be able to meet the target which is higher by a little over N200 billion.
In his ruling, Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Leke Abejide said the committee decides to retain the N1.68 trillion as a result of the reduced effect of Covid-19 on economic activities.
Chairman of the Committee, Leke Abejide said the decision of the lawmakers was based on the reduction in the effect of Covid-19 on economic activities as a result of availability of vaccines and other factors.
“Initially before COVID-19 came, the sum of N1.679 trillion was given to the Service to generate and despite the COVID-19 you were able to generate N2.211 trillion and collected N350 billion Value Added Taxes (VAT).”
“We are not going to increase it, we are to stay on it at N1.679 trillion and we are not going to touch what you proposed or the target you gave to yourself on the issue of VAT,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Customs Strike Force Unit said it generated over N1bn from undervalued cargos from importers, shippers and clearing between January and March 2021.
The Deputy Comptroller (DC) in charge of the unit, Ahmadu Bello Shuaibu, said the unit intercepted foreign parboiled rice, printed label materials, used vehicles, textiles material, used tyres and second-hand clothing.
The National Public Relations Officer of Customs, Joseph Attah, also said the N1bn generated in the first quarter has justified the creation of the Strike force Unit.
“We have suppressed smuggling to the extent that they no longer make use of big trucks, vehicles, motorcycles to smuggle anymore. They now make use of camels, cattle, donkeys to move them in trickles.”