The House of Representatives Committee on Finance on Monday declined the N1.33 trillion revenue proposal of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for 2022.
Some members of the committee stated that with emerging technology and the Naira devaluation, the NCS should be able to generate more revenue for the Federal Government.
They disclosed this during an interactive session on the 2022-2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) with Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
Leke Abejide (SDP-Kogi), noted that the NCS target should not be below N2 trillion in 2022. His view was backed by Ahmed Muhktar (APC-Kaduna).
James Faleke (APC-Lagos), who serves as Chairman of the Committee, stated that it is usual for the Budget Office takes a critical look at projected revenue generation of the country at the beginning of every year.
He noted the practice was to ascertain the required funds and plan for borrowing, noting that if more revenue was generated, the country’s need for loans would reduce
“We are saying no, that your gross revenue generation is low given all the available opportunities that you have; when you also look at your previous performance 2020 to 2021.
“For us as Committee on Finance, we will not accept the N1.3 trillion, I am sure by the time our report comes out, you will be pleasantly happy,” he said.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, had informed the committee previously that the Customs Service plans to generate the sum of N1.33 trillion in next year.
The Customs boss told the lawmakers that the service arrived at the sum following its analyses of the average revenue collection in the past and was trying to be as realistic as possible.
He noted that the lack of scanners at the ports makes it difficult to track all the items being brought into the country, stating that “once the scanners are available, smuggling will be reduced to the barest minimum”.