Don’t buy ‘China made scanners’ for Customs, Reps warn CBN

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The House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to procure four scanners for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), but warned the apex bank against procuring “China made scanners”.

This followed the adoption of the report of the 2021 budget of the NCS approved by the lower legislative chamber.

“That the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should as matter of urgency procure the four scanners for Nigeria Customs Service from the best scanners manufacturers either from Germany or America but not China made scanners,” the lawmakers said.

The lawmakers also passed the 2021 budget of the NCS and raised the revenue target of the service for 2021 from N1.46 trillion to N1.678 trillion.

The 2021 budget for the NCS was put at N257 billion. Out of this, N137 billion was approved for capital projects, N99.7 billion for personnel cost and N19.7 billion for overhead.

Leke Abejide (ADC, Kogi), the Vice Chairman, Committee on Customs, presented the report on the 2021 budget of the agency.

Abejide said NCS performed poorly in 2020. He also frowned at the unutilized funds of the agency.

He said, “The committee interacted with the Controller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, and his management team, and we discovered that there was poor performance in 2020. Also, we expressed reservation about the unutilized funds of the agency. They gave the excuse that they are having difficulties with the Bureau of Public Procurement.”

The House also passed the 2021 budget of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Also, a total of N216 billion was approved for the FIRS following the adoption of the report of the Committee on Finance, presented by its chairman, James Faleke (APC, Lagos).

Of the total FIRS budget, N107.5 billion was approved for personnel cost, N56 billion for overhead and N52 billion for capital projects of the agency.

The two budgets had been passed by the Senate and are to run till December 31 after they are signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.