Senate President Bukola Saraki has come down hard on the Nigeria Customs Service saying activities of the revenue generating agency needs to be investigated.
The embattled Senate President, who is also facing a 16-count charge of false asset declaration at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, was reacting to a motion sponsored by Senator Isaac Alfa and 12 co-sponsors on a motion ‘On the Urgent Need to examine the Operations of the Nigeria Customs Service Revenue Drive’.
Saraki in his reaction was quoted as saying “that place is stinking; just last week we heard the former Customs boss returned one billion naira. The NCS should be investigated”.
Other Senators who commented on the motion said it was time to look at the books of the NCS.
They agreed that the NCS should be investigated in order to identify leakages and irregularities leading to dwindling revenues.
Earlier while leading debate on the motion, Alfa said, “The revenue shortfall is as a result of unwholesome fraudulent trade malpractices, under declaration, abuse of fiscal policies concealment, over and under invoicing, force declaration of value and wrong classification.”
While urging the Senate to invoke legislative action in creating an enabling environment that sees the NCS thrive and in effect dramatically increase the revenue accruable to the country, he also canvassed for multiple revenue sources to augment the dwindling oil revenue.
On his part, Senator Shehu Sani expressed concern over the low volume of trade and commerce in the country.
“The Nigerian Customs Service is not a mere paramilitary body; it is an agency of the government specifically established to generate revenue for the country.
“We sit here and talk about budget and others, and the Customs sit there doing nothing,” he said.
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