The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Wednesday said the federal government lost N1.3tr revenue in 2023 due to waivers and concessions granted to investors.
Customs Comptroller General, Adewale Adeniyi, stated this during a session with the Senate Joint Committees on Finance, Appropriations, National Planning, Local and Foreign Debt on the 2024-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
Adeniyi, who was represented by Deputy Comptroller General, Mba Musa, said waivers and concessions had significantly reduced the revenue generation of Customs.
He also disowned details of the Customs’ $3.2bn modernization project.
Members of the Senator Sani Musa-led Joint Senate Committee had inquired for details of the agreement signed by the Federal government on the Modernization of Nigeria Customs from the CG.
In response, the Customs CG representatives denied knowledge. Musa told the lawmakers that the Customs was not privy to details of the modernisation project.
The Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Sani Musa, said the Senate would launch an investigation into waivers and concessions the federal government granted some investors in the country.
He said, “We would review the waivers and make recommendations. By now, you should be meeting up on your projected target, if there are no waivers.”
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) had in April 2023, approved the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) modernisation project, also known as e-customs, despite a court order restraining the federal government from going ahead with the initiative.
The administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari specifically approved the implementation of the Customs modernization project to a concessionaire.
The concessionaire is Bergman Securities Consultant and Suppliers Limited as the project sponsor, Africa Finance Corporation UFC as the lead financier while Huawei Technologies will be trained as a lead technical service provider.