The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday assured members of the Senate that it would generate N3.019trn into the Federation Account this year.
This is just as the House of Representatives yesterday directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the NCS to harmonise their positions on the electronic invoice policy and report back to it on March 17, 2022, for further action.
The Comptroller General of the NCS, Colonel Hameed Ali (retd.) gave the assurance when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff.
Ali said the NCS targets included N2.019 trillion from the Federation; N253.23 billion from non- federation and N746.96 billion from import Value Added Tax (VAT).
The National Assembly had this year set a revenue target of N1.465 trillion for the revenue generating agencies of the federal government.
The Customs boss who appeared before the Senate panel to present and defend the 2022 Budget of the NCS, said when compared with the 2021 revenue target, the 2022 revenue target was higher by N965.42 billion or 31.98 per cent.
Ali said the Service proposed a budget expenditure of N369.14 billion for the 2022 fiscal year which would be sourced from the seven per cent cost of collection for 2022 estimated at N151.84 billion.
He also said the agency hoped to rake in N60.12 billion being 60 per cent CISS.
He said the two per cent VAT share of NCS would amount to N14 94 billion, while he put the retained Income at N114.3 billion. He put the agency’s share of the excess target (2021) at N27.85 billion.
The NCS had proposed a budget expenditure of N242.45 billion for the 2021 fiscal year.
Ali explained that the expected income included personnel cost, which was N108.85 billion, representing 29.49 per cent and overhead cost of N45.89 billion, representing 12.43 per cent.
He also said the agency proposed N214.30 billion as capital cost, representing 58.08 per cent with a grand total of N369.04 billion representing 100.00 per cent.
When asked if the targeted revenue could be pushed beyond N3.1trillion, the NCS boss advised against what he described as over ambitious targeting against the backdrop that the one set for 2022 was already on the high side in order not to cripple the economy.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, Senator Francis Alimikhena, took a swipe at the continued complaints of the non-functioning of scanners by the Customs. He warned that the excuses must be urgently addressed in order to enhance the revenue drive for the country, adding that national assets must not be allowed to waste away.
Alimikhena urged the NCS boss to ensure that the 2023 budget of the revenue generating agency gets to the National Assembly latest end of October 2022.
He said this would enable his panel to facilitate early passage before the end of December 2022.
He added: “The Nigeria budget circle is January to December. Customs should key into this circle, late submission of budget will no longer be entertained.
“The 2023 budget should reach the National Assembly latest end of October 2022 so as to facilitate early passage before the end of December 2022.
House Committee Urges CBN, Customs to Harmonise e-Invoice Policy
The House of Representatives has directed the CBN and the NCS to harmonise their positions on the electronic invoice policy.
The lawmakers gave the directive through their Committees on Customs and Excise as well as Banking and Currency, during a meeting with the both agencies and other stakeholders to address issues arising from the introduction of the new system by the CBN, yesterday.
The CBN had issued a circular that the new system would kick off on February 1, 2022, but the House had on January 27, 2022, announced its suspension and had directed the apex bank to adopt a 90-day timeline for the implementation of policy in order to avoid destabilising effects on the economy.
The resolutions followed a motion moved by Chairman of the Committee on Customs and Excise, Leke Abejide
Abejide during the meeting said the policy remained suspended until they conclude on the matter.
Director, Trade and Exchange of the CBN, Dr. Ozoemena Nnaji, said the new system was seamless and integrated with the import and export process in a manner that does not hamper any of the stakeholders.
She said the price of goods involved in a trade transaction used to be manipulated sometimes by those wishing to launder the proceeds through the financial system, adding that some regulators had suggested that a simple way to identify such activities was by banks implementing a price check on all trade transactions.
This, she said was the goal of the new system that the CBN in collaboration with other MDAs introduced.
“This would be one way of ensuring what we earn in trade comes to us without loss of foreign and duties. The main aim is to ensure that we allocate our scarce foreign exchange resources to imports and we collect the export duties and transaction values due to us at valued market rates,” she said.
She said an analysis of trade invoicing in Nigeria carried out in 2014, showed that the potential loss of revenue to the government was approximately 2.2 billion for the year, an amount, which she said represented four per cent of total annual government revenue as reported by the IMF, and representing approximately 15 percent of the country’s total trade.
But Assistant Controller General of Customs, Galadima Saidu, among other concerns, said the new CBN policy was a violation of World Trade Organisation Trade Facilitation Agreement of which Nigeria is a signatory.
He said the use of bench-marking in valuation would negate the aim of the agreement on Customs valuation and would result in delays and uncertainties.
He said the use of bench-marking in valuation was abolished due to the dynamic nature of pricing especially in this current time when technology is rapidly evolving.
“Nigeria is a signatory to the WTO trade facilitation agreement. The agreements are legally binding with punitive measures that would adversely affect the Nigerian economy.
“The introduction of the CBN initiative is against Article 7 of General Agreement on tariff and trade 1994 and Article 1, 2 and 6 of the WTO TFA,” he argued.
Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency, Hon Victor Nwokolo, said there must be cohesion between both agencies of government.
Culled from THISDAY