Reps blame import waivers for Customs’ declining revenue

The House of Representatives has blamed the decline in the revenue collections by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on the import waivers and concessions approved for some individuals and companies by the Federal Government.
Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on House Services, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, said that some individuals got as much as N150 billion waivers to import certain goods.
Dogara, a former Chairman, House Committee on Customs, noted that the waivers were funds that should have accrued to the Federation Account but were lost.
The waiver policy, according to him, was discriminatory and not well-defined for the citizenry to understand the objective of the government.

The legislator posited that, until the government summoned courage to stop granting waivers, concessions and exemptions to some importers and companies, the NCS was likely to continue posting a drop in revenue.
Dogora said: “The problem of declining Customs revenue has to do with waivers, concessions and exemptions. So much revenue running into billions of naira is being waived by the Executive to some individuals and companies.
“People get as much as N150 billion as waivers for importing sugar, rice and other items. You talk of concessions that are also discriminatory; while some may pay say five per cent, there are those that have a figure up to 50 per cent.
“That is where the problem is mainly. The National Assembly has to sanction waivers that are not backed by any law.”
He recalled that, after conducting an investigation into the alleged rot in the NCS in 2008, the House recommended that the policy on presidential waiver exercised by the supervisory Minister (of Finance) should be scrapped.

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