The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has called for excise duty on carbonated drinks to improve revenue generation in the country.
The Comptroller-General of NCS, retired Col. Hameed Ali, made the call at a public hearing on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ali, who was responding to a question on why the NCS was yet to meet its target on revenue generation, said the revenue generation was predicated on market forces that drive imports to Nigeria.
He advised that payment of excise duties should not be based on imports alone adding that goods produced domestically must also be added.
Ali said that the only excise NCS was authorised to collect was excise on tobacco and alcoholic beverages.
He said there was need to also look in the direction of collecting excise from carbonated drinks to improve the revenue profile of the nation.
Ali attributed the inability of the NCS to meet its revenue generation target to smuggling at the various boarders, saying that smuggling had become a way of life for some people.
He,however, said the NCS had put in place structures to curtail smuggling.
Ali said the NCS was employing improved manpower and leveraging on technology through its electronic custom structures.
He said that the NCS was on the verge of deploying three scanners at the sea ports in the country, for proper and speedy examination of containers entering the country.
This,he said would ensure 100 per cent and speedy examination of containers and reduce incidence of under payment of duties and false declaration of goods.
He also disclosed that NCS was also due to deploy 135 scanners across land borders to further enhance effectiveness of its operations.
Ali said the non provision of infrastructure for border communities was also aiding smuggling at the boarders, nothing that smuggling was a way of life to some citizens.
“The border communities do not want to cooperate in fighting smuggling because of absence of government in their communities, some times they cooperate with the smugglers because of the support they receive from the smugglers,” he said.
He,however, said the NCS had been involved in some cooperate social responsibility at the border communities to discourage smuggling, noting however, that the effort was not enough to deter smuggling.
He also urged the National Assembly to elvolve further measures to mitigate smuggling in the nation’s borders.
Ali revealed that NCS generated in 2020 generated N1.5trillion, while N1.02trillion has been generated so far in first six months of 2021.
The Director General ,Debt Management Office (DMO), Ms Patience Oniha, in her presentation said there was an increasingly higher level of new borrowing provided in the 2022-2024 MTEF.
Oniha said the renewed higher level of borrowing has a direct impact on debt service, saying that there was an need for significant boost in revenue to avoid unsustainability of public debt.
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