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Customs to begin automation of excise duty.

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—– soon to capture carbonated drinks in tax net

 Ayobami Adedinni

The Nigeria Customs Service  has stated that it will soon begin automation of excise duty with the e-Customs while urging all officers to key into the process.

Speaking during her working visit to the Ogun 2 Area Command of the NCS on Monday, the Assistant Comptroller General of Customs ,ACG Modupe Aremu, urged the personnel to be vigilant adding that the e-customs will result in end to end automation.

In her words, “All the raw materials from start to finish are going to be automated using block chain technology. So, I encourage everybody to key into this because it’s not easy to start counting especially all these drinks and monitoring them from start to finish because some of them produce at nights while the officers must have gone home. This is why automation is key”, she said.

According to her, excise duty collected on tobacco and spirits will soon be extended to cover carbonated drinks, tiles, toilet papers and water while charging the men of the command to come up with the statistics of the companies producing some of the products in the states.

While also urging the Customs Area Comptroller (CAC) Comptroller ST Bala to come up with a strong enforcement unit that will fish out some of the undiscovered factories in the state.

She added that there is need for the command to get enough workforce, informing that with the recent recruitment going on, the command will get enough manpower to handle excise in the state when it starts.

According to her, “I am very passionate about excise, because I spent two years as ACG Excise. So, excise is part of me and I am part of excise. We only tax tobacco and spirits and very soon we are bringing carbonated drinks on board. We are bringing articles of plastics, tiles, water and toilet paper.

“So for you to say you have 84 officers in excise here is so low, but I am sure with the upcoming recruitment, some officers will be deployed here because when all these things come on board, you are going to have a lot of work to do, because the excise companies here is huge, but I want you to hit the ground running even before government gives us the go-ahead, you are to do a census of how many factories we have here and how many of them are producing carbonated drinks, we need to have the figures.

“So you need to hit the ground running and have the statistics ready; it’s not when they say we should start collecting that you start running about. I expect that by now Ogun command would have a comprehensive list of all these companies.

“We know because of COVID-19, there has been a short fall, people are not drinking as much as they used to, more so ethanol is getting high so most of them are struggling to produce.

“We also have a lot of undiscovered factories in Ogun state, so you need to have a very strong enforcement unit to fish them out, you need intelligence because most of these factories cannot be discovered without intelligence,” she added.

© 2021, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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