The House of Representatives has approved the total sum of N369.136 billion budget for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for the 2022 fiscal year.
The approval followed the consideration and adoption of the Committee on Customs and Excise report.
In presenting the report to the House, the Committee Chairman, Hon. Leke Abejide, noted that the total sum of the budget was in tandem with the projection in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) approved by the National Assembly.
He explained that out of the amount, N108.853 billion was for personnel costs, N45,896 billion was for overhead costs, and N214.294 billion was for capital projects of the Service.
A seven percent cost of collection in the budget, amounting to N151.841 billion, the projected revenue available to the Service, was approved, and a two percent Value Added Tax (VAT) share of N14.939 billion.
The report stipulated that the NCS should make provisions out of the N27.848 billion surplus for the repair of 13 scanners before the commencement of the proposed e-Customs.
The report stated that this was to enhance maximum and effective examination of containers at the ports and other designated Nigeria Customs service formations to ensure trade facilitation and ease the way of doing business in Nigeria.
Other projections approved included the 60 percent share of the comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) of N60.121 billion only for the 2022 intervention fund for the Nigeria Customs Service; retained income of N114.385 Share of Excess Target (in 2021) of N27.848 billion only.
The report recommended that: “The Nigeria Customs Service should make substantial provision for corporate social responsibility so that communities where Nigeria Customs operate and people that work with Nigeria Customs Service could have a sense of belonging or take ownership of the agency.
“The information required and assistance to tackle smugglers would be provided by the people easily, but as it is now, the NCS is seen as an outcast by these communities because they believe Customs only want to benefit from their domain at the expense of their welfare.
“The Nigeria Army does much more Corporate Social Responsibility for the general public and their hosts, so also, other Revenue Generating Agencies; that could be the reason for less reported acrimony and attacks against them by their host communities unlike customs.”
In the same vein, the House also considered and approved a bill seeking the repeal of the Customs and Excise Management Act, enacted 63 years ago.
The approval followed the consideration and adoption of all 283 clauses in Bill’s report submitted by the Committee on Customs and Excise.
Presenting the synopsis of the report before the Committee of the Whole, the sponsor of the Bill, Abejide, said that if signed into law by the president, it would restrict the appointment of the Comptroller General of Customs (CG) within the Service, and make an appointment of same from outside it illegal.
Abejide said the extant law had become obsolete and ineffective for the operations of the NCS, leading to the agency’s underperformance in terms of revenue generation.
He also said the new bill exposes illegal arms importation and as well improves revenue generation.
Abejide said, “This bill when it becomes an Act will position Nigeria Customs Service to be financially stable and this will enable NCS to recruit the required number of Officers they need to man our porous border stations.”