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House committee set N1.6 trn as 2021 revenue target for Customs

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Chinazor Megbolu

The House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise has increased the annual revenue target for the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) in the 2021 financial year to N1.679 trillion.

The committee raised the revenue target from N1.465 trillion to N1.679 trillion.
The committee stated this when the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), appeared before the committee on Tuesday to defend 2021 budget proposals and performance of the 2020 budget.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Leke Abejide, explained the legislators would retain the targets on duties and value added tax (VAT) collection as the NCS was able to surpass the 2020 reduced target despite the nationwide lockdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The 2021 proposal that Customs brought to us; we compared notes of what was presented to us in the 2020 fiscal year and what was collected by the service. There was a proposal of N1.4 trillion.
“When we looked at your new proposal and the kind of noise it will generate when we get to the floor of the house, we don’t want to have problems on the floor trying to pass the budget.
“So, when we looked at what you collected in 2020 which was N1.56 trillion when you add VAT, it will look somehow illogical for us.
“We want to stand on the initial target given to you last year. We are not going to increase it, we are to stay on it at N1.679 trillion and we are not going to influence what you proposed or the target you gave to yourself on the issue of VAT,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ali in his response, noted that the NCS generated a revenue of N1.211 trillion for the period of January to December 2020 and N350.63 billion as VAT on imports during the same period.
He added that the revenue generated brought the total collection to N1.562 trillion in the year 2020.
Ali also decried that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreements entered into by the country were already affecting the nation’s revenue negatively in 2021.
Ali, however, posited that plans were underway to ban vehicles that had been used for more than seven years from being imported into the country.
“We are now working on a policy proposal that will reduce the years of the vehicles that will be imported into the country as used vehicles.
“Our own is to ensure that we have roadworthy vehicles and that is not to say that we want to kill our own home-grown industries.
“It is our hope that our own industries will begin to produce vehicles that we can afford to buy and reduce importation of used vehicles.”

© 2021, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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