By Francis Ogwo
The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has said it aims at raking in a revenue of N1.465 trillion into the Federation Account in 2021.
This is according to the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) on Thursday while speaking with the senate in Abuja when he appeared before the Senator Francis Alimikhena-led Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff to defend the 2021 Budget of the agency.
Ali said when compared with the 2020 revenue target, the 2021 revenue target is higher by N85 billion or 5.80 per cent while adding that his agency has proposed to spend N242.45 billion for the 2021 fiscal year.
Speaking further, the Customs boss said that the funds would be sourced from its seven per cent cost of collection for 2021 which is N96 94 billion; 60 per cent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) put at N47.01 billion; two per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) share of NCS which is N07.40 billion; outstanding liabilities of N91.10 billion, amounting to N242.45 billion.
He said the expected income would be used as follows: Personnel cost – N99.72 billion, representing 41.13 per cent; Overhead cost is N19.53 billion, representing 8.06 per cent and Capital cost, N123.20 billion, representing 50.81 per cent.
The Senate Committee in their response however decried concessioning of import duties collection by the NCS while insisting that there is nowhere in the world where such an essential service is being outsourced to private firms.
It said it was unacceptable to entrust such an assignment to foreign firms rather than engaging Nigerians or its staff.
Further in the proceeding, Senator Alimikhena threatened that the Senate will not pass the Customs budget, especially the capital component if it fails to forward details of its capital projects for 2021 to the Committee before Monday.
It also mandated the agency to make available its staff nominal roll, personnel cost and over N30 billion for ongoing projects still unaccounted for.
He added that money appropriated especially for recruitment must be utilized and accounted for.
Speaking further, the Committee asked the Customs Service not to execute its proposed 171 new projects when it has 338 old and uncompleted projects.
It said that old projects must not be abandoned in line with the position of President Muhammadu Buhari that old projects must be completed before embarking on new ones.
The Customs boss was however directed by the Committee to appear before it on Monday with all the required documents.