The Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (RTD), has applauded the improved relationship between the Nigeria Customs Service and the House Committee on Customs.
The Comptroller General during his Budget Defence for 2022 at the National Assembly commended the committee for helping Customs actualize their mandates and in the preparation of the Budget. ‘‘It remains a growing theme that partnerships between any two organizations are the gateway to better understanding and execution of mandates as well as helping one another’’ he said.
According to Ali, Customs recorded a remarkable performance but had militating factors such as: ‘‘The standing government’s deliberate trade and economic policies (monetary fiscal) such as the restriction of 43 items from accessing FOREX at official window, the non-functional Scanners at the various Customs’ scanning sites which have affected the Service’s ability to carry out effective examination for selective consignments.’’
‘‘Only two commodities (cigarette and alcoholic beverages) were under excise control within the period under review, Despite the Service’s anti-smuggling drive, the nation’s borders remain largely porous which leas smuggling activities, and the extant laws of the Service such as the CEMA and Legal Notices are being reviewed.’’ He added
As part of the effort to Improve Revenue Generation In 2022, the Comptroller General of Customs said the E- Customs Project would be fully implemented: ‘‘One of the key focuses of the Service in the 2022 fiscal year is the full implementation of its operations, The E- Customs Project would also include the automation of Customs Agency licences, Vehicle identification number (VIN) etc, are expected to encourage and enhance the performance of the Service”. He explained
Other objectives and strategy to improve revenue generation in 2022 includes: Implementation of the 2021 Finance Act: Excise, Installation of Functional scanners, Intensive and Deliberate Anti-Smuggling Campaign, intelligence gathering, Revenue Recovery Mechanism, capacity building, and continuing stakeholder collaborations.
In his remarks, Leke Abejibe, Chairman House Committee on Customs and Excise, applauded Customs performances especially in terms of improved revenue generation. While stressing the need for synergy between both parties, he stated that the Customs and Excise Management Bill has gone through the first, second and Public Hearing stages and will be passed by March 2022.
“This is a pointer for us to work seriously together to get Customs and Excise Management Bill, which has gone through first, second and Public Hearing stages to be passed by March, 2022” he said.