The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has had its N1.33 trillion revenue forecast for the fiscal year 2022 rejected by the House of Representatives Finance Committee.
The sum was low, according to the committee during its interactive session with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) on the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) for the years 2022 to 2024.
With the recent depreciation of the currency, Leke Abejide (SDP-Kogi) predicted that the NCS proposal will be in the N2 trillion range.
According to the member, the service would still meet an upward review target, and the new Finance Act had given the service the ability to generate more money from alcoholic beverages and cigarettes by 2021, as opposed to 2021.
Following the ongoing deployment of technology in tax collection, Ahmed Muhktar (APC-Kaduna State) believes that customs should be able to generate more income.
With the quantity of training and retraining programs included in the NCS budget, he believes the agency will be able to generate far more than N1.33 trillion.
According to him, anything less than N3 trillion will be rejected by the committee.
The Committee’s Chairman, James Faleke (APC-Lagos State), stated that the Budget Office examines the country’s estimated revenue generation at the start of each year.
He explained that this was done to determine the required cash and make sufficient borrowing preparations, stressing that if more revenue was generated, the amount of money needed to be borrowed would decrease.
“We are saying no, since your gross income generation is poor, given all of the available opportunities, and when you consider your historical performance from 2020 to 2021, we are saying no.
“As a finance committee, we would not accept the N1.3 trillion, but I am confident that by the time our report is released, you will be pleasantly surprised,” he stated.
Earlier, rtd Col. Hameed Ali, the Comptroller-General of Customs, told the committee that the service planned to generate N1.33 trillion in 2022.
Ali explained that the amount was calculated by analyzing the average revenue collection in the preceding year and that the service was attempting to be as accurate as feasible.
“We expect N1.33 trillion in 2022, and that is what we are proposing; we are hoping that things will improve because imports fluctuate and we don’t have a consistent measurement.
“So we compute the average of what we collected the prior year and arrive at a figure that is realistic.”
“Whatever follows after that, we expect to greatly exceed that, but we are trying to be as realistic as possible in our proposal,” he said.
However, Ali stated that any additional funds would be sent directly into the federation account and that the business had no intention of defrauding the government.