The House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise yesterday raised the revenue target for the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) in the 2021 financial year from N1.465 trillion to N1.679 trillion.
The committee made the increase when the Comptroller-General of NCS, Hameed Ali, appeared during the defence of the 2021 budget proposals and performance of the 2020 budget.
The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Leke Abejide, said the decision of the lawmakers was based on the reduction in the effect of COVID-19 on economic activities with the availability and administration of vaccines and the approval given to the NCS on the proposal for carbonated drinks to be excisable.
Abejide acknowledged that despite the adverse effect of COVID-19, the NCS was able to generate N2.211 trillion, “so it can do better now that the pandemic is being contained,” and charged the agency to meet the targets of the budget.
According to him, “Initially, before advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sum of N1.679 trillion was mandated for the Service to generate, and despite the COVID-19, you were able to generate N2.211 trillion and collected N350 billion Value Added Taxes (VATS). So, that is to tell you that now that COVID-19 is subdued as a result of vaccine and no lockdown, as well as the border is opened, and when I checked with the chairman of Finance Committee, your proposal for carbonated drinks to be excisable is now approved.
“So when we look at all these, we see that we cannot go to the floor with this proposal and this is our conclusion. We want to stand on the initial target given to you last year. We are not going to increase it, we are to stay on it at N1.679 trillion and we are not going to influence what you proposed or the target you gave to yourself on the issue of VAT.”
Earlier, the Customs boss, Ali, while defending the 2020 budget performance, said the NCS collected a total revenue of N1.211 trillion for the period of January to December 2020.
He explained that the Service also collected the sum of N350.63 billion as VAT on imports from January to December 2020, thereby bringing the total collection to N1.562 trillion for the period under review.
On the 2021 budget, Ali said the revenue target for the year based on the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and approved by the National Assembly is set at N1.465 trillion, consisting of N1.267 trillion for the federation and N198 billion for non-federation.