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Reps reject Customs N1.33tn revenue target for 2022

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The House of Representatives Committee on Finance has rejected N1.33tn revenue target of the Nigeria Customs Service for 2022, saying it is too low.

The committee gave its verdict at its 2022 to 2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) interactive session with Ministries, Departments and Agencies, said with new technologies deployed and the recent devaluation of the naira, Customs should be able to generate more revenue.

Leke Abejide (SDP-Kogi) said that with the recent devaluation of the naira, he expected that the proposal of the NCS should be  N2 trillion or above.

He said the exchange rate for 2021 was N381 to a dollar and the targeted revenue generation was N1.6 trillion, adding that the service should factor in the devaluation of the naira and increase their target.

The lawmaker said the service would still surpass an upward review target, adding that the new Finance Act had empowered the service to generate more revenue from alcoholic beverages and tobacco as against 2021.

Ahmed Muhktar (APC-Kaduna State) said that customs should be able to generate more revenue following the ongoing deployment of technology in revenue collection.

He said that with the number of training and retraining lined up in the NCS budget, the service should be able to generate much more than N1.33 trillion.

According to him, the committee will not accept anything less than N3 trillion.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr James Faleke (APC-Lagos State), said at the beginning of every year, the Budget Office takes a critical look at expected revenue generation of the country.

He said that was done to know the required funds and make adequate preparation for borrowing, adding the amount of money to be borrowed would reduce if more revenue could be generated.

Faleke said, “We are saying no, that your gross revenue generation is low given all the available opportunities that you have; when you also look at your previous performance 2020 to 2021.

“For us as a committee on finance, we will not accept the N1.3 trillion, I am sure by the time our report comes out, you will be pleasantly happy.”

Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), had earlier told the committee that the service planned to generate N1.33 trillion in 2022.

Ali said the service came up with the figure after analysing the average revenue collection in the previous and was trying to be as realistic as possible.

“We are expecting in 2022, N1.33 trillion, that is what we are proposing; we are hoping that things will improve, importation do fluctuate and we do not have any constant measurement.

“So, we take the average of what we collected in the previous year and compute it and come up with a figure that is realisable.

“Whatever comes thereafter, it is our hope that we will surpass it by far but we are trying to be as realistic as we can in our proposal,’’ he said.

Ali, however, said should any extra money be generated, it would go straight into the federation account and that the service had no intention to defraud the government. (NAN)

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Don’t link your SIM card with another person’s NIN, NCC warns

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The Nigerian Communications Commission has warned telecom consumers not allow their National Identification Number to be linked to another person’s Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card no matter how close the person is to them.

The commission gave the warning during its third Telecom Consumer Town Hall on Radio (TCTHR) programme on Human Rights Radio 101.1FM in Abuja.

The event was hosted on the platform: “NCC Digital Signature on Radio”, a statement by the NCC stated on Tuesday.

The NCC Digital Signature on Radio is the flagship radio programme of the commission created to educate the general public on the mandate of the commission and for sharing salient, consumer-centric and up-to-date information on how the NCC is delivering on this mandate.

Speaking during the radio programme, focused on: “The Benefits of NIN-SIM Integration”, NCC’s Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, Efosa Idehen, said, “On no account should a telecom consumer, however, circumstanced, allow another person to register a SIM with their NIN.”

Idehen said compliance with the advice would protect the true owner of the NIN from liabilities or negative consequences arising from the use of another person’s SIM.

He said, “If the person whose SIM is linked to your line uses his own SIM to commit a crime or any form of atrocity, it is easy to be traced to you, and then you will be dealt with because the SIM is linked to your NIN.”

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Lagos threatens to suspend NURTW, RTEAN over clashes

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The Lagos State Government has threatened to suspend operations of transport unions in the Mile 2 area of the state should they continue to clash.

Three people reportedly died during a bloody clash last week on the Mile 2 and Amuwo Odofin axis between the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria and the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Amuwo division.

Responding to the violence, the Lagos State Government on Tuesday brokered peace between the warring factions in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Fayinka, stated that the state government would deal with the case after the police had concluded their investigation and presented the report of the crisis.

He noted that multiple levies on truckers by the unions around the axis had been the cause the dispute.

Fayinka warned the unions to beware of infiltrators as this would soil their reputation and lead to an abrupt end of the activities by the state government as the safety of lives and properties is first and sacrosanct.

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Port congestion: Relocate overtime cargos, Customs urges NPA

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The Nigeria Customs Service has advised the Nigerian Ports Authority to move all overtime cargos from the terminal to reduce congestion.

This advice was given bythe Apapa Area Command of the NCS, noting that the transfer of overtime cargos from the ports to the government warehouse in Ikorodu was the responsibility of the NPA.

Cargos are classified as overtime when they stay in the ports for 28 days without the importer or clearing agent coming up to clear them.

Managing Director of the NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko, had recently said there were over 5,000 overtime containers across the nation’s seaports taking up space for new imports.

Bello- Koko, who spoke during an interactive session organized by the House of Representatives Committee on Customs, had asked the Service to auction the overtime containers to decongest the nation’s seaports.

The NCS Controller of Apapa, Yusuf Malanta, who spoke when he received executive members of the Shipping Correspondents Association of Nigeria in his office, said it required a lot in terms of logistics and financial commitment to move overtime cargos from the port to the government warehouse in Ikorodu.

According to him, there were currently about 500 overtime containers, including import and export, at the Apapa port, and that it would cost an average of N600,000 to move each of the containers from the port to Ikorodu – a cost which he said the command was not ready to bear.

The customs boss explained that there were also laid-down procedures for the disposal of overtime cargoes that must be followed before they are auctioned, to avoid litigation.

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