Nigerian Customs: N37bn Lost to Import Waivers in 2011


It emerged Thursday  that the Federal Government lost about N37.2 billion to the import waivers regime granted to importers of raw materials last year.
Deputy Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) in charge of Human Resources, Mr. Garuba Makarfi, who disclosed this during a budget defence session he had with the Senate Committee on Finance however said the Presidency had directed that no import waiver be granted this year.
He said: “We lost 7 per cent of our collection to export expansion grant which is non-negotiable, this amounted to about N37.2 billion. The grant was given to export-oriented companies and local manufacturers, to export raw materials, but instead, these local manufacturers sell their certificates to dealers who then use it to import cars into the country.”
Lamenting the loss, Chairman of the committee, Senator Bassey Otu, said that the Senate would ensure that waivers are only given to critical areas of the economy.
“We frown seriously about waivers,” Otu said, adding, “We want waivers to go to where it is extremely necessary.”
Briefing the committee further on the 2012 budget proposal of the NCS, Makarfi said the Service would spend a total of N1.24 billion on fuel to power its various generator plants as well as to cater for refreshment and officers’ welfare packages.
He stated that the total 2012 budget of the service is N76.06 billion, N20.2 billion of which is for overhead and recurrent expenditure.
The Service is also spending N180 million on water supply, out of N12.8 billion capital budget and N500 million for security votes targeted at stopping smuggling across the nation’s borders.
The Customs chief said the service raked in over N900 billion as revenue for the Federal Government in 2011.
The committee however commended the NCS for what it called "the huge leap in revenue" accruable to the Federal Government and assured it that the lawmakers would put in place every legal framework to boost the work of the Service.
“We commend you for all the good works and to assure you that the Senate will address all structural and legal frameworks to make the Service more efficient. We support the reorganisation of the Service. We want you to tackle irregular e-payment and reduce leakages in your payment systems,” Otu assured
By  Kunle Akogun

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