Nigeria Customs Amendment Bill Passes 2nd Reading In House of Reps

Nigeria Customs Amendment Bill Passes 2nd Reading In House of Reps

The Nigeria Customs and Excise Management amendment bill has scaled second reading in the House of Representatives on Tuesday. Information Guide Nigeria

The GUARDIAN reports that the bill was sponsored by Rep. Leke Abejide (ADC-Kogi) and seeks to overhaul the existing Act.

Abejide said that the need for a holistic overhaul of Customs and Excise legislation cannot be overemphasised in view of its contribution to fiscal and national policy development.

THE GUARDIAN reports that Abejide noted that since 1958 the Nigeria Customs and Excise Act has not undergone reform.

According to THE GUARDIAN, he said: “You will agree with me that in today’s competitive world, the Act, its regulations, and its operational guidelines are archaic, obsolete, and no longer in tandem with modern-day challenges, and this has unfortunately reduced measurably the accruing revenue against the volume of trade.

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“This exercise is noticeable in the following areas of collation of all Customs and Excise Legislations into a single compendium of Customs and Excise Act to facilitate easy reference and easy knowledge-driven customs and excise policies.

“This Act will position the Nigeria Customs Service to be financially stable in order to recruit the required number of officers they need to man our porous border stations.

“The Nigeria Customs Service recently has 15,349 officers instead of 30,000 officers needed for the service to function optimally.

“The current seven per cent cost of collection from duties payment is not enough to pay salaries of officers, not to talk of improving the infrastructures.

“For this reason this bill provides for additional funding system based on four per cent in line with international best practice, to address funding problems.

“This will also help to reposition the service for improved efficiency and service delivery.’’

He also emphasised on the need for a stiffer penalty for offenders to act as deterrence for serious economic crimes of customs and excise oriented and in return encourage more revenue in the area of fine payment.

Abejide said: “The injection of provisions driven from stakeholder’s advice and experiences shall bring measures to eradicate fraud and smuggling activities for full collection of revenue due, timely from Customs and Excise duties.

“In accomplishing this task, this bill is in tune with ICT development, thereby giving the service the ICT demand it requires for its operations in line with international best practice.

“This would ensure a model that can think a thousand times faster and more efficiently than humans do, this digitalisation of Nigeria Customs Service with the already embraced innovative solutions to trades across emerging markets. Jamb Result

“As a result of this, Nigeria Customs Service may record higher revenue in 2022,’’ he said.

THE GUARDIAN reports that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila referred the bill to the House Committee on Customs for further legislative actions.

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Idongesit Akpa-Ayang

Idongesit is a graduate of Communication Arts, University of Uyo. Currently working as a news reporter at InfoGuide Nigeria.

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