Customs law outdated, says Comptroller-General

Customs law outdated, says Comptroller-General

Hameed Ali, Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service.

 

The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, has said that the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) is outdated.

According to him, the Act which allows for the restriction of the movement of goods into and out of Nigeria by land or inland waters and to appoint stations are long overdue for review, even as he stressed that the rules and regulation in these operational guidelines are no longer in tandem with modern day challenges, adding that this has reduced measurably, the accruing revenue against the volume of trade.

Disclosing this on Friday in Abuja when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff to defend the proposed 2020 Budget Estimates, Ali said that the  agency raked a total sum of N1.125 trillion for a period of ten months from January to October this year.

According to him, the Service collected the sum of N207.19 billion as Value Added Tax (VAT) on imports for the period under review, just as he said that despite the anti-smuggling drive of the Service, Nigeria’s Borders remain largely porious, which leads to smuggling activities.

Ali said that the gross expected revenue collection with VAT inclusive for 2019 fiscal year stands at N1.357 trillion.

According to him, the revenue target by the Service in 2020 is N1.679 trillion, consisting of N1.5 trillion.

He said when compared with the 2019, the 2020 revenue target is higher by N741.43 billion or 44.17 percent.

Ali told the lawmakers that nonfunctional cargo scanners at the airports, seaports at land borders have adversely contributed to NCS’ inability to carry out effective examination for selective consignments.