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Customs admits revenue leakages, as waivers threaten N1.4tr revenue target

By on April 28, 2013

Revenue leakages in the system, duty waivers and concessions granted by the Federal Government now pose serious threat to achievement of the N1. 4 trillion revenue target set for the Nigeria Customs Service for the 2013 fiscal year.

The service admitted existence of numerous import duty waivers, concessions and grants by the federal government is the greatest challenge in its revenue generation effort.

Although the NCS was only able to meet N850 billion of the N1 trillion revenue target given by the Federal Ministry of Finance for the 2012 fiscal year, it was raised to N1.4 trillion for the 2013 fiscal year.

This is viewed as a tall order in the face of dwindling import volumes since twilight of 2012 occasioned by the ripple effects of the economic recession that hit most of Europe.

Deputy Comptroller General of the service in charge of administration, Garba Makarfi told newsmen in Abuja recently that the waivers and concessions resulted in the loss of several billions of Naira in revenue.

“We lose several hundreds of billions of Naira every year to duty waivers and concessions on some imported goods. But we will continue to do our best, collect all the collectible revenue by blocking all the identifiable leakages”, he said.

He said the service, in the course of time, has put measures in place to block possible revenue leakages to ensure that any revenue that is due to the government is collected.

The Federal Government introduced several waivers and concessions for equipment imported for priority sectors such as agricultural, solid mineral and commercial transport.

Meanwhile, some operators have raised eyebrows at the high revenue target especially given the declining volume of imports into the country in recent time, heightening fears that Customs could be forced to use extra measures to achieve the target.

National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders says it is neither threatened nor opposed to the N1.4 trillion revenue target, which remains a projection that may or not be met.

“There is actually nothing to be afraid about because it is not anybody’s business whether there is economic recession or not. So that should not be the business of any freight forwarder whether is going to make its target or not”, it stated.

Acknowledging the declining import into the country, the association said the target is to make Customs block as much revenue leakages as possible, adding that government itself knows that the volume of import into the country is declining.




[Daily Independent]