How Nigeria lost N1.8 trillion in revenue this year — Customs boss

Beloved JohnDecember 12, 20233 min

With N1.8 trillion lost this year alone, the Customs Service advocates for the scrapping of the exemption scheme as it denies Nigeria huge sums of revenue at a time when the country is falling short in resource mobilisation

Reps appropriation hearing how Nigeria lost N1.8 trillion
Members of the Reps Appropriation Committee

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it lost N1.8 trillion to the Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC), an incentive which allows for specific goods to be imported into the country without paying import duties.

According to the Comptroller-General (CG) of the NCS, Adewale Adeniyi, if the value lost to IDEC in 2023 was added to the N2.8 trillion revenue generated by the service in 2023, there would be a significant increase. 

The CG disclosed this while addressing the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations in an interaction session on the 2024 budget at the National Assembly on Monday, December 11, 2023. 

He noted that if the N1.8 trillion lost to IDEC was saved, it would add value to government coffers in the fiscal year while acknowledging that import waivers is beneficial to the country’s economy if implemented successfully.

Adeniyi said the savings ”could be used to improve the economy, create employment opportunities and ensure attractive foreign investors.

“The import waivers would be beneficial to the economy if we review the conditions under which these waivers are given. We must monitor them properly to ensure that the country gets value for those revenue that we are giving up. I am sure that we will be in a better position in 2024.”

When asked by the committee on the Service’s revenue generation plan for 2024, Adeniyi disclosed that the NCS intends to monitor the uncleared goods out of the port, focusing on excise duty and import duty stamps. 

“The major source of revenue for customs is the import duty charge on all imported goods, the one internally generated, called excise duty, is becoming  very strategic to our revenue expenditure. Excise duty is becoming really popular for our revenue expenditure. 

“I understand how important the issues of waivers asked. If we get the waivers right, the revenue which we project are achievable. We have second hand vehicles that have been imported in defiance of the law and there is so much money from the taxes on these vehicles. We estimate over N500 bn from these vehicles. We are working on how to start inspecting these vehicles and collecting the taxes.

“The total target for 2023 is 3.684 trillion which will have translated to 307 billion per month. But at the end of the last month, we had 2.8 trillion which was about 80 percent of the projected revenue. The year is yet to be over and we are still optimistic.

“The project we have for 2024 is 5 trillion, which is about 423 billion per month, and excise will be responsible for over 300 billion. We can even generate up to 6 trillion revenue in 2024,” he said. 

Beloved John

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