Customs to keep 4% of import earnings as operating cost

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) will henceforth keep over four per cent of the free-on-board value of imports for its operations in line with international best practice as provided by its enabling act.

This is the first time since its inception the service will finance its statutory responsibilities from the revenue it generates as provided in Section 18 of the recent Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA).

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise in the ninth National Assembly, Leke Abejide, yesterday, at a two-day sensitisation workshop on the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 held for management members of the service in Abuja.

He said the new arrangement would speed up the growth of the economy, enhance investors’ and stakeholders’ confidence, boost the morale of Customs officers nationwide and improve the transparency of the country’s business climate in the global market.

Abejide added that the legislation empowers the service to execute projects not more than 10 per cent of its total capital budget.

He said this makes it faster for the service to implement its capital projects as quickly as possible to enhance the performance of officers in service delivery.

According to him, projects whose value is above 10 per cent of the total capital projects of the year under review will require Federal Executive Council (FEC) approval.

Abejide said this can, however, be upgraded as the need arises by a proposal to that effect by the President to the National Assembly, and accordingly by appropriation put through Budget presentation on Customs Service matters.

The Chairman recounted obstacles that had made previous governments fail to get the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap. C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 repealed and re-enacted

Abejide said the Bill was declined presidential assent three times with meetings held with the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Finance and the Nigeria Customs Service, which saw it assented to on April 27, 2023 by the former President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The tortuous journey towards the repeal of the CEMA Cap. C45, LFN 2004 and the re-enactment of this new Act, the first of its kind in 63 years, was indeed very challenging, which God made possible by the 9th National Assembly with the cooperation of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, the Nigeria Customs Service and the general stakeholders at large.

“We expect that NCS would live up to its responsibility of tapping new revenue areas, thereby ensuring that duties and levies evading techniques by criminal-minded persons are restricted to the barest minimum level so that targeted revenue avenues would be harnessed,” he said.

 

By Adaku Onyenucheya From guardian.ng

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