The House of Representatives’ Committee on Finance has rejected a revenue of N1.3 trillion being projected by the Nigeria Customs Service for 2022 fiscal year, vowing to raise the target.
The Comptroller-General of NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), had in his presentation at the ongoing public hearing on the 2022/2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper on Monday, disclosed that the Customs was projecting the amount as revenue for next year.
Ali noted that the Customs came up with a figure that was considered realisable, expressing hope to surpass the target.
“We came up with a figure that is realisable. Then, whatever comes thereafter, it is our hope that we will surpass that. We try to be as realistic as we can in our proposal,” he noted.
Chairman of the House Committee on Customs and Excise, Leke Abejide, who is a member of the Committee on Finance, however, criticised the revenue target as ridiculous, given that the naira had been devalued. The lawmaker said he expected the Customs’ proposal to be N2.5trillion and above.
Abejide said, “This is very ridiculous because now, the naira has been devalued already, so you will discover that the volume of money you are getting, if you want to get the real value, you will see that it is not a real improvement. So, I expected the proposal to be from N2.5trillion and above. If you look at the value of the naira that is going down, it needs an upward review. So, please take note of the parameters and secondly, the Finance Act has been passed; there are so many ways we can get revenue now, better than last year.”
Another member, Muktar Ahmed, stated that there was no way the committee would accept anything less than N3trillion.
Chairman of the committee, James Faleke, in his ruling, noted that at the beginning of every year, the Budget Office of the Federation reviews the expected revenue to be generated for the country. He added that it is done to know the gaps in required funds and make adequate preparation for borrowing. He stressed that if more revenue is generated, the amount of money to be borrowed would be reduced.
Faleke said, “CG, the issue is this: what the Budget Office works with is the figure available to them on paper, and at the beginning of the year, for results to be achieved, they will like to see what is coming in. We are saying no; that your gross revenue generation is low, given all the available opportunities that you have; when you also look at your previous performance, 2020/2021.
“For us as a Committee on Finance, we will not accept the N1.3trillion. I am sure that by the time our report comes out, you will be pleasantly happy.”