The House in a resolution on a motion jointly sponsored by Hon James Faleke and 14 others, has therefore mandated its committee on Customs and Excise to carry out the investigation with a view to determining “the nature and extent of abuse of Customs pre-arrival assessment reports (PAAR) by importers and officials of the Customs Service in order to recover the revenues due to the Federal Government but were not paid”.
The committee is to further identify companies and individuals that have refused to redeem the bonds, even after clearing their goods and report its findings back within 90 days, for further legislative action of the House.
Faleke who moved the motion on behalf of his colleagues told the House that some importers were in the habit of issuing bank, and or insurance bonds to the NCS in lieu of duty payments to clear their goods immediately, “and thereafter expected to redeem the bonds by paying the appropriate duty rates, but information reveals that the bonds are either partially redeemed or never redeemed at all”.
In another motion, the House directed the Federal Ministry of Finance to review its agreement with Webb Fontaine Nigeria Limited on the alleged violation of its Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) time-line agreement, with a view to exploring the option of handing it over to NCS, as already done by other services providers.
The House Committee on Customs and Excise has also been mandated to investigate the operational activities of the firm in the NCS’ Information and Communication Technology infrastructure between 2013 and 2017, alleged violation of its ASYCUDA timeline agreement, rules of engagement and the delay in handing over to the NCS, and report back within six weeks.
Chairman of the committee on FERMA, Hon Jerry Alagbaoso and 10 other of his colleagues had in a motion, which the House unanimously adopted, told members that the operational activities of Webb Fontaine suggested that it appeared “to be losing interest in Nigeria, and consequently does not deliver its services having transferred majority of its shares abroad”, a development they said called for a re-examination of its engagement.