CBN Responsible For Drop In Customs’ Revenue, Says Hameed Ali

Faced with a significant drop in revenue, the Ni­geria Customs Service (NCS), has accused the Cen­tral Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of contributing to the unimpres­sive performance.
The Comptroller-General of NCS, Col. Hameed Ali, who spoke on Monday on the devel­opment, said that the service generated more than N600 bil­lion for the last quarter of 2016 as against N903 billion it real­ised during the same period last year.
Ali told journalists on the sidelines of the 136th meeting of the Joint Tax Board in Abuja, that had the CBN not banned the import of 41 items, its reve­nue would have remained high.
He said that the Customs contributed N903 billion to the nation’s coffers in 2015 but N600 billion this year.
The News Agency of Nige­ria (NAN) quoted Ali as saying that the drop is due to the fluc­tuating foreign exchange rates and the ban on importation of more items by the CBN.
There are 41 items banned from importation; among them are soaps and cosmetics, toma­toes/tomato pastes, plywood boards and panels, wooden doors, rice, cement, margarine and toothpicks.
Ali said: “The Service made more than N600 billion in the last quarter of 2016. I will not say it regrets but the CBN should have liaised with the Service before placing the ban on some of the items.”
Ali said the collaboration between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Fed­eral Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Nigeria Immigrations Ser­vice (NIS) would boost income and shift the nation’s depend­ence from oil.
“With the declining reve­nue from the oil industry, our economy is dangerously ex­posed to the uncertainties in the oil sector. We must there­fore look beyond oil and focus attention on tax which is inter­nally generated.
“As revenue generating agencies, working together will put us squarely on the driving seat of Nigeria’s vehicle towards an economic model that is in­ward-looking and self-sustain­ing,” Ali said.
The NCS boss said that the application of modern tools to check corruption among the agencies would minimise leakages, adding that a review and expansion of excise duties were being looked into for lo­cally manufactured items, to expand government’s tax base to generate more revenue.

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