The Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali, on Monday said the officials of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) will not close their eyes “to any minutest infraction” by importers and agents, which could result in revenue loss to the government.
Ali stated this when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise to defend the 2022 budget of the NCS.
Ali, who projected that the service will generate N3.019 trillion in the 2022 fiscal year, said necessary measures have been put in place to enable the service realise the target.
He said, “The post-clearance audit and systems audit units of the service, which were created to uncover illicit financial activities, are expected to contribute maximally in the service’s quest for improved revenue generation in the year 2022. This year 2022, because of the target, we will not close our eyes to any minutest infraction that brings about revenue default.
“We are going to do everything. I am sure Mr Chairman (of House Committee on Customs and Excise), very soon you will begin to hear some cries but it is on the line of our duty because we will force those who are supposed to pay. They must pay to this country. Our job is to collect and ensure that over 200 million people benefit from that fund. When you get those cries Mr Chairman, please close your ears because we are doing our job.”
Ali said the e-customs project, which will help to improve revenue collection, is billed for implementation within the year.
“One of the key focuses of the service in the 2022 fiscal year is the full implementation of its operations. The e-customs project would also include the automation of Customs agency licences, vehicle identification number (VIN) etc, are expected to encourage and enhance the general performance of the service,” he said.
On tackling smuggling, the Customs Comptroller-General said efforts are underway to make the act difficult for perpetrators.
“Three functional mobile scanners have already been installed at different Customs locations. This would translate to effective trade facilitation and enhance revenue generation in 2022.
“Subsequent to the purchase and deployment of operational vehicles, two sea-going vessels and 18 patrol boats across Customs’ formations would enhance the suppression of smuggling activities across difficult terrain and improve on the service revenue’s generation,” he added.
The House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise approved N369 billion as the 2022 budget for the service.
Chairman of the committee, Leke Abejide, commended the NCS for exceeding its N1.678 trillion 2021 revenue target and charged it to do more in 2022.
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