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FG moves to strip Customs of revenue collection role

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The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning has called for the stripping of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) of the responsibility of revenue collection. It said the responsibility should be transferred to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

Stakeholders in the sector opposed the passage of the Customs and Excise Management Amendment Bill, saying several provisions in it were draconian and against global best practices.

Speaking at a public hearing, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Aliyu Ahmed said there was the need to unify revenue collection so that Customs can concentrate on its responsibility of trade facilitation.

He said, “The single most important function of the Customs Service anywhere in the world is trade facilitation. But in the introduction of the Chairman, I hear him talk about revenue, collection of revenue. This is the secondary service of the Customs all over the world.

“Revenue collection by Customs is a distraction. The reason is that the main function of the Nigeria Customs Service is trade facilitation. But the trade facilitation has been pushed to the background because of the focus on revenue collection. In other climes, the best practice is moving towards unifying revenue collection.

“If we want to go that far, and achieve that best practice, our submission would be to move revenue to the Federal Inland Revenue Service so that Customs Service can really focus on trade facilitation function.”

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