The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has rejected the Nigerian Customs Service’s N1.33 trillion revenue target for the fiscal year 2022, citing the depreciation of the local currency, Naira.

The committee stated that the amount was low during its 2022-2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper interactive session with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

He stated that the exchange rate for 2021 was N381 to the dollar and the revenue generation target was N1.6 trillion, adding that the service should account for the naira’s depreciation and raise their target.

The lawmaker stated that the service would still exceed an upward review target and that the new Finance Act would allow the service to generate more revenue from alcoholic beverages and tobacco in 2021 as opposed to 2021.

Mr. Ahmed Muhktar (APC-Kaduna State) stated that with the ongoing deployment of technology in revenue collection, customs should be able to generate more revenue. He stated that with the number of training and retraining programs planned in the NCS budget, the service should be able to generate significantly more than N1.33 trillion.

The committee, he claims, will not accept anything less than N3 trillion. Mr. James Faleke (APC-Lagos State), Chairman of the Committee, stated that the Budget Office examines the country’s expected revenue generation at the start of each year.

Lawmakers Refuse Customs’ Revenue Target

He stated that this was done to determine the necessary funds and to prepare adequately for borrowing, noting that if more revenue was generated, the amount of money to be borrowed would be reduced.

“We are saying no, because your gross revenue generation is low given all of the available opportunities, especially when you consider your previous performance from 2020 to 2021.

“As finance committee, we will not accept the N1.3 trillion, but am confident that by the time our report is released, you will be pleasantly surprised,” he said.

Previously, Rtd Col. Hameed Ali, Comptroller General of Customs, told the committee that the service is expected to generate N1.33 trillion in 2022.
Ali stated that the figure was calculated after analyzing the previous year’s average revenue collection and was intended to be as realistic as possible.
“We are expecting N1.33 trillion in 2022, that is what we are proposing; we are hoping that things will improve, imports fluctuate and we do not have any consistent measurement.
“So, we take the average of what we collected the previous year and compute it to arrive at believable figure. 
Whatever comes after that, it is our hope that we will far outperform it, but we are trying to be as realistic as possible in our proposal,” he said.
However, Ali stated that any extra money generated would be deposited directly into the federation account and that the service had no intention of defrauding the government.

 

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