Customs blame naira redesign, 2023 elections for low revenue generation 

Elizabeth AtimeFebruary 1, 20243 min

Customs revenue was affected by uncertainties and anxiety towards the 2023 elections and suspension of excise on single-use plastics, carbonated drinks, and telecommunications Value Added Tax (VAT).

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has blamed the uncertainties of the year 2023, from the elections, cash crunch, Naira re-design, and other factors as responsible for the drastic reduction in its revenue.

The Comptroller General (CG) of Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi stated this at an interactive session with the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise duties on Wednesday.

The interactive session was on the review of its 2023 budget performance and its 2024 budget proposal.

He explained, that uncertainties and anxiety towards the 2023 elections and the suspension of excise on single-use plastics, carbonated drinks, and telecommunications Value Added Tax (VAT) affected Customs revenue.

He added that other major causes were the Cash crunch and currency redesign which he said also contributed a lot to the low revenue in the first half of 2023 while Cargo throughput also reduced drastically in the year under review.

CG Adeniyi said the revenue projection was N3.669 trillion but the Service earned N3.202 trillion from January to December 2023 which shows a N4062.9 billion negative variance below target due to the factors listed

“In 2023, the revenue target for the service was N3.67 trillion, and remarkably, the service collected a total revenue of N3.21trn from January to December 2023.

“When we compare what we collected in 2023 to what was projected as our targets, there was a negative variance of N462.9 billion, which represents 12.62 percent of what was approved as revenue targets.

“Though we didn’t achieve what we projected, we want to say with all sense of modesty that we did our best. And when we consider all factors, we will appreciate the fact that we at NCS did the best we could.”

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Leke Abejide (ADC, Kogi) noted that in the four budget cycles the Committee had witnessed, the emphasis was placed on E-customs for trade facilitation and other economic contributions of the process.

According to him, the impact of E-customs cannot be overemphasized adding that its understanding will make a more technologically advanced customs.

“The budget framework must align with the main objective of a reformed customs that will go with the time and deliver its mandate,” he said.

Rep. Abejide further explained that the Committee will intensify its oversight function to ensure adherence to the set objectives and laws.

“Our responsibility extends beyond mere oversight; it encompasses a solemn duty to safeguard the interests of the Nigerian people and ensure that public funds are utilized judiciously.”

Elizabeth Atime

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