The Senate Committee on Customs has directed the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) to stop the concessioning of the service’s revenue collection functions to a foreign company under its Customs Modernisation contract.
This is even as the Customs CG told the Senate, yesterday, that it has targeted a total of N1.465trillion 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 N1.465trillion consists of N1.267trillion for Federation and N198.00billion for Non- Federation.
According to him, when compared with the 2020 revenue target, the 2021 revenue target is higher by N85billion or 5.80 Percent, just as he said that the service has proposed a budget expenditure of N242.45billion for the 2021 fiscal year and would be sourced from 7% cost of collection for 2021 which is N96 94billion; 60% CISS, put at N47. 01billion; 2% VAT Share of NCS which is N07.40billion; Outstanding Liabilities of N91.10billion, totally, N242.45billion.
Giving a breakdown, he explained that the expected income will be utilized as follows: Personnel cost, N99.72billion, representing 41.13%; Overhead Cost is N19.53billion, representing 8.06%; Capital Cost, N123.20billion, representing 50.81%, with a grand total of N242.45billion, representing 100.0 %.
Ali who reiterated that the non-functional 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 Port Harcourt.
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, 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 N30billion 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, to appear before it on Monday next week with all the required documents.