Senate probes Customs over N4trn revenue loss Read more

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BUJA—THE Senate has begun moves to unravel how N4 trillion worth of revenue was lost under the watch of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS. The Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff which declared this, yesterday, said already, it had put some machinery in place to carry out a thorough investigation into how the over N4 trillion collectable revenue was lost by the country between 2006 and 2016. senate chamber The committee, which described the development as avoidable leakage in the revenue monitoring mechanism of the Nigeria Customs Service, vowed to unearth how it happened and those responsible for the unfortunate development. The   committee’s chairman, Senator Hope Uzodinma (PDP, Imo West), who made the disclosure in Abuja during a media chat with journalists, said the committee would stop at nothing to recover the money which, according to him, was lost to lapses and infractions by the revenue generating agency. Uzodinma disclosed that preliminary investigations already made by the committee revealed that the N4 trillion leakage was a result of various forms of infractions, including abuse and non-implementation of policies targeted at achieving high revenue income for the country through levies, duties and tariffs on imported goods. He added that other factors responsible for the leakage were wrong classification of cargo under HS Code (Harmonised System Codes), non-screening of cargoes coming into Nigeria and lack of adequate ICT infrastructure for revenue collection. Uzodinma stressed that cancellation of pre-arrival assessment reports, abandonment of single goods declaration were equally responsible for the leakage. He said: “The committee frowns at the quantum of revenue losses and it will stop at nothing in ensuring that those involved in this ugly act would return all recoverable monies with them. “The committee also frowns at the level of collusion and corruption within the Customs Service. At the end of our current investigation, all these will become a thing of the past.”

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