The House of Representatives has mandated its committee on customs to investigate the handling of import duty revenues, waivers and bonds on import duties collected by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) from 2010 till date.The resolution was sequel to the passage of the prayers of a motion sponsored by a member, James Abiodun Faleke (APC, Lagos) and 14 others.
The committee is also mandated to “determine the nature and extent of abuse of the Customs Pre-Arrival Assessment Reports (PAAR) by importers and officials of the Customs Service to recover the revenues due to the Federal Government but which were not paid”.
The House also empowered the committee to probe the abuse of import duty waivers given by the Federal Ministry of Finance and its effects on the economy and identify the companies or individuals that have refused to redeem the bonds even after clearing their imports.
The committee is to conclude its assignment and report back to the House within 90 days for further legislative action.
Moving the motion, Faleke said except those that were granted waivers and are on the prohibited list, the Nigeria Customs Service is mandated, among other things, to collect duties on all goods imported into Nigeria .
According to the lawmaker, the inability of the federal government to finance the 2017 budget and meet its other obligations made the Ministry of Finance to source for funds from local banks and the capital market through “Sukuk” etc. Meanwhile, there are leakages in revenue collections by the Nigeria Customs Service.
“If the leakages are blocked and the perpetrators punished, Nigeria’s revenue base will increase and there may not be any need to source for funds of any type to fund infrastructural development in the country, he said.
When Deputy Speaker Yussuf Lasun asked for a voice vote on the motion, it passed with a majority vote.