The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, passed resolutions directing the Committee on Customs and Excise to probe the handling of Duty revenues, Waivers and Bonds on Import Duties collected by the Nigeria Customs Service from 2010 to date. The resolution which came at the instance of a motion moved by Hon. James Abiodun Faleke, also directed the investigating Committee to determine the circumstances surrounding the alleged abuse of the Customs Pre-arrival Assessment Reports (PAAR) by importers and officials of the Service in order to recover the lost revenues due to the Federal Government.
The Lawmaker in his motion informed that there have been leakages in revenue collections; he stated that the NCS has the statutory mandate to among other things collect duties on all goods imported into Nigeria except those that were granted waivers and are on the prohibited list. He added that occasionally, the Federal Ministry of Finance gave series of duty waivers to companies in line with the policy of government to assist businesses.
He notified the House of gross violation of policies by shady importers and compromised Custom officials. Hon. Faleke therefore prayed the House to identify the companies or individuals culpable in the alleged abuse.
In a related development, Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso moved a motion praying the House to urge the Federal Ministry of Finance to reconsider its pact with Webb Fontaine with a view to exploring the option of handing it over to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). He stated that other Service providers have already established a compliance monitoring team that will liaise with the NCS to further utilize its ICT infrastructure in conformity to the World Customs Organization standard.
The lawmaker further prayed the chamber to mandate the Committee on Customs and Excise to institute investigation into the operational activities in the NCS ICT infrastructure between 2013 and 2017, in lieu of the violation of its Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) time-line agreement, Rules of engagement among other things.