OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has asked the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to increase its revenue projection for the year 2022 from N1.33 trillion to no less than N2.5 trillion
The Committee also summoned the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, to appear before it unfailingly on Wednesday.
The Committee made these decisions at the ongoing 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) interaction with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja, on Monday.
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Mr. Hameed Ali, who appeared before the Committee had in his presentation at the public hearing, disclosed that the Service was projecting a revenue of 1.33 trillion for fiscal year 2022.
According to him, the NCS came up with a figure that’s realizable with the hope that it will be surpassed.
He said: “We came up with a figure that is realizable, then whatever comes thereafter, it’s our hope that we will surpass that. We try to be as realistic as we can in our proposal.”
But members of the Committee, in their reaction described the projection as too low for Nigeria.
A member of the Committee and chairman, House Committee on Customs, Mr. Leke Abejide (ADC, Kogi) insisted that the projection was too low given that the naira has devalued.
He said: “This is very ridiculous because now the naira has devalued already so you will discover that the volume of money you’re getting, if you want to get the real value you will see that it’s not real improvement. So I expected the proposal to be from 2.5 trillion and above. So if you look at the value of the naira that’s going down, it’s need upward review. So please take note of the parameters and secondly the finance act has been passed; there are so many ways we can get revenue now better than last year.”
Another member, Mr. Muktar Ahmed (APC, Kaduna) said there was no way the committee was going to accept anything less than three trillion naira.
In his ruling, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. James Faleke (APC, Lagos) explained that at the beginning of every year, the Budget Office takes a critical look at expected revenue generation of the country.
He said that it is done to know what gap in required funds and make adequate preparation for borrowing saying that if more revenue is generated, the amount of money to be borrowed will reduce.
Mr. Faleke also corroborated his colleagues, saying that everyone will be pleased with the Committee’s report when it eventually comes out.
Falake said: “CG, the issue is this- what the budget office work with is the figures available to them on paper. And at the beginning of the year, for results to be achieved they will like see what’s coming in. We are saying no, that your gross revenue generation is low given all the available opportunities that you have; when you also look at the your previous performance 2020 to 2021. For us as a committee on finance, we will not accept the N1.3 trillion.”
In another development from the hearing on Monday, the Committee summoned Mr. Kyari and the Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Mr. Sarki Auwalu, for failing to appear as scheduled.
Kyari and the others, who were scheduled to address the lawmakers on revenue generation, sent representatives which were not accorded courtesy of addressing the Committee.
The House Committee had commenced the MTEF interactive meetings with MDAs last Monday.