2022: Why NCS May Not Meet N3.01 trillion Revenue Target Set By FG

By Stephen Ubanna

More facts have emerged why the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, under the close watch of Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel, may not meet the N3.01 trillion, revenue target set for the service by the Federal government in this his lap of his Administration,, notwithstanding N1.293 trillion generated in the first six monhs of the year..

This is because of the high official exchange set by Godwin Emefiele, led Central Bank, ofN igeria CBN, for the NCS, to calculate import duties and levies at the nation’s seaports and land border areas across the country . This is  in adition tothe persistent shortage of the Forex at the official market  and inflationary measures which was said to have led the decline in  the volume of Nigeria imports in the recent time.

.  Note that Last September, the CBN, had increased the import duties and levies from N409 to N422.30 to the North American country of the United States, Us, dollar. This translates to a 25% increase on all Customs charges on goods coming into the country through the country’s seaports and Land borders. But the US, dollar, had closed at N435.00 to $1, on September 6, 2022, compared to N327 in March 2020, which had translated into money being paid into government coffers then.

. Many believe that continuous slide of the naira to the US dollar, is gradually killing importation into the country that may lead to scarcity of some essential goods into the country soon, particular, pharmaceutical products as obtained in the Latin American country of Venezuela.

Besides the CBN, approved exchange rates for all imports coming into the country from Asia, US  and Europe, President Muhammadu Buhari, in approving the 2022, Fiscal Budget , last March, was said to have approved for implementation  of the  2022 Fiscal Policy Measures made up of Supplementary   Protection Measures for the Implantations  of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS., Common External Tariff, CET, , 2022-2026,  and exercise duties on Non-Alcoholic beverages,  Alcoholic beverages and  Telecommunication services. 

The government was said to have also introduced Import Adjustment Tax, IAT, list, with additional taxes and levy , on 172, tariff lines extant ECOWAS CET, goods, which was said to have  increased the rates of goods coming into the coming into the country from other parts of the world. 

APM Terminal, Apapa Port

The NCS, Authorities,  was said to have  made it clear to  importers,  particular, that they will  continue  ‘’to pay  an Administrative  charge of 1% of Free On Board, FOB,  value of all imports coming into the country based  on the approved exchange rate  on the approved Form M’’ . The NCS, had made the Nigerian importers to further understand that they will continue to be assessed   for duty at the Cost, Insurance, Freight, C.I.F, value of the goods using the exchange rate on the approved Form M.

The Nigerian importers may not have found this funny, as many of them, who could not access the Forex at the Official market, had resorted to source for the Forex at the parallel market. At present, at the parallel market,  N780.00 and approaching  N1000.00, exchanges for $1, which Peter Obi, a  former governor  of Anambra state and Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, LP,  while addressing the  alumni, of the Lagos Business School, in Lagos, the nation’s Commercial  nerve centre, recently, had described as completely unacceptable, insisting that ‘’Nigeria is not a Banana Republic’’.

 The high exchange rate of the naira to the US, dollar,  is so worrisome as the volume of cargo traffic  into Lagos ports of Apapa, Tincan Island, Port Multi- services Terminal Limited, PTML, and the  south east port of Onne, Rivers port and the Land borders had reduced drastically, forcing Col. Ali, rtd, the Customs Comptroller General to have  informed Hajia Zainab Ahmed , the minister of Finance, Budget and National , and the Katsina state born Nigerian President  that the service may not meet  theN3.01 trillion revenue target set for it this year.

Although the Area Controllers at the nation’s Lagos and South east ports  Command, have succeeded in  blocking all areas of Leakage , but the involvement of the Comptroller General , CGC, Strike Force , in the Physical examination of  cargos, may  have served as a check on them to recover lost  revenue which had boosted their monthly  revenue collections.

Some  of the importer’s declarations over the  in their Bill of ding which are usually different from what is contained in their ‘’20’’ or ‘’40’’ Containers, discharged at the ports which find their way outside the port with the Collaboration of the  resident officers may have been stopped by the CGC, Strike Force. This is evident with the issuance of Demand Notice, DN, to the guilty imoters with their agents.

. Take for instance, at the Lagos seaports, including the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal, KLT, phases, I and II, the involvement of the CGC, Strike Force, under the close watch of DC. Mohammed Yusuf, who has the mandate of the Customs Comptroller, to ensure that all  Areas of  revenue Leakage are blocked at the ports, had consistently issued DN, to the guilty of importers  recovering millions of naira, that could have entered into private pockets on a monthly basis, at the ports, which  was said to have go ne  a long way to boost the revenue of the mother Commands at the ports .

 Insiders told The Value News that the adhoc Team   do not pay duties, recovered from the fraudulent importers with their agents to the Federal government coffers directly but leaves that to the Customs Formations at the ports to do as they only keeps the records of the recovered duties only.

 The Team was said to have recovered a little above  N200 million in the month of September because of the alleged drop in importation due to the high exchange rate . Informed source told The Magazine that the greatest beneficiary of the recovered lost revenue for the government for much of this year was  KLT, meaning that Command Area Controller still have much job to do to further block Areas of revenue leakage at the terminal.   

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