The Comptroller General of Customs, Col.Hamid Ali (rtd) has explained why the Service has been having revenue shortfall.
He gave this explanation at the National Assembly today, Wednesday, during a 3 days public interaction with government revenue generating agencies by the Senate Joint Committees on Finance, National Planning , Foreign and Loca Debts, Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, Petroleum (Downstream and Upstream) and Gas on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP)
First he said rather than relying on collection of exide from local manufacturing industries, bulk revenue collections come from export duties.
He said the revenue remain unstable because operations of the Nigerian Customs is unpredictable.
“We rely on market forces which drives import of goods into the country. We don’t have control over influx of import”.
Rather, he said government should further encourage local industries from which more revenue can be generated internally.
The Comptroller General however lamented that government earn largely from tobacco and alcohol manufacturing.
The Service therefore want to heavily tax carbonated drinks producing companies to which there was an objection from a lawmaker.
The joint committee chairman by Senator Adeola. Olamilekan cautioned that imposition of heavy tax on carbonated drinks companies may be disincentive.
Col. Ali (rtd) also identified smuggling as a drain pipe through which expected revenue fritters away.
He said smuggling management mechanism put in place by the NCS did not yield expected results because smuggling is a global challenge to Customs services.
According to him, there is the need for huge investment in technology and manpower input.
The Comptroller General as well accused inhabitants of most border communities of not cooperation with the NCS in curbing smuggling activities.
He said most of the communities collaborate with smugglers and frustrate efforts of operatives of the Service in retaliation of pressuned neglect by government.
“There is lack of government presence in most of the communities, no water, no good road, no hospitals and so on. And we as part of our corporate social responsibility have been providing some social amenities to gain their cooperation.
“So, government must give them sense of belonging so that they can support efforts at curbing smuggling I border communities,” he said.