A bill to empower Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to carry out electronic transactions scaled second reading in Senate on Tuesday.
This followed the presentation of the lead debate on the general principles of the bill by the sponsor, Sen. Francis Alimikhena (PDP -Edo) at plenary.
The bill was entitled: “A bill for an Act to repeal the Customs and Excise Management Act, CAP. C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“And to enact an Act to establish the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2021.”
Leading the debate, Alimikhena , Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariffs, said the bill was read the first time on Jan. 29, 2020.
He said the proposed bill sought to bring the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) in line with modern day reality.
The lawmaker, said that an analysis of the CEMA conducted in 2009, found the law to be severely lacking with respect to the World Customs Organisation’s Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC).
He said that as it was, the Act did not contain provisions to support the use of electronic documents, signatures and electronic payment as well as application of risk management.
“It also do not contain provisions of other information technology that are applicable to modern customs administration.”
He further said that another important shortfall of the customs and excise management act was that it did not legally provide for the establishment of the Nigeria customs service.
Alimikhena said the bill when passed, would empower the service to be at par with international standards and to enhance the protection of society against smuggling, illegal weapons, narcotic and counterfeit goods among others.
The bill was thereafter referred to the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff for further legislative action, to report back in four weeks.