By Tom Okpe
The Comptroller General, (CG), Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi has blamed cumulative effects of the Service’s low 2023 revenue generation on the Naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN). He also cited the 2023 general election as a contributing factor.
Adeniyi said the cash crunch occasioned by the currency redesign and several other factors in the system at the time, contributed to the poor financial activities of the Customs Service.
The Comptroller General made these known at an interactive session with the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise at the National Assembly, Abuja on Wednesday.
At the session, which reviewed the Service’s 2023 budget performance and its 2024 proposed budget, the CG said uncertainties and anxiety towards 2023 elections and suspension of excise on single use plastics, carbonated drinks, telecommunications and the Value Added Tax, (VAT) all affected, Customs revenue.
He said: “Other major causes were the Cash crunch, currency redesign, contributed a lot to the revenue in the first half of 2023 as Cargo throughput, also, reduced drastically in the year under review.
“The revenue projection was N3.669 trillion but the Service collected N3.202 trillion from January to December, 2023 which shows a N4,062.9 billion negative variance below target due to factors listed earlier.
“The NCS did its best to meet targets, but were hampered by the factors which include Import Duty Exemption.”
In his earlier address, Chairman of the Committee, Rep Leke Abejide said, over the four budget cycle, the Committee has witnessed emphasis placed on E-customs for trade facilitation and other economic contributions to the process.
According to him, the impact of E-customs cannot be overemphasised, adding that its understanding will make a more technologically advanced customs.
He noted that, budget framework must align with the main objective of a reformed customs that will go with the time and deliver on its mandate.
“The Committee will intensify its oversight function to ensure adherence to set objectives and laws,” Abejide said.