The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) reports that exemptions and concessions granted to investors under former President Muhammadu Buhari resulted in financial losses of $1.3 trillion.
Deputy Comptroller-General Mba Musa, speaking before the Senate Joint Committees during the public hearing on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy 2024-2026, stressed that the concessions had significantly impacted the potential revenue that the NCS could add to the Nigeria Consolidated Fund of Revenue in 2023 . .
DCG Musa was represented by Adewale Adeniyi, the Comptroller General (CG).
- “We should no longer talk about concessions for cement producers, we should not even talk about sugar imports.
- “We should not deny ourselves the income we should generate to keep our economy running. By now, we should be consolidating exemptions granted to increase revenues.
- “We would review the redundancies and make our recommendations. By now you (NCS) should have achieved your projected goal if there are no deviations,
- “NCS lost N1.3 trillion in 2023 due to waivers and concessions granted to investors by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.” Musa said.
Senate to waive and grant license for probe
In response to the agency’s position, joint committee chairman Sani Musa called for a Senate inquiry into the waivers and concessions, stressing that such concessions should not hamper the generation of revenues crucial to the country’s economic growth.
Moreover, the Senate sought clarity on the NCS modernization project, known as e-customs, demanding details of the agreement signed by the federal government.
In response, Adeniyi said the website lacked details regarding the contract for the $3.2 billion modernization project.
- “We are not privy to the details of the modernization agreement under the Nigeria Customs Modernization Project,” he added. Mba told federal lawmakers.”
The customs modernization project was approved for implementation by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, with special approval to entrust it to a concessionaire.
The concessionaire was Bergman Securities Consultant and Supplies Limited as the project sponsor, Africa Finance Corporation UFC as the main financier, and Huawei Technologies was to be trained as the main technical service provider.
However, stakeholders have condemned the project, saying it burdens the future of the service and poses a threat to national security.
Speaking to the Senate committee, Mba told legislators at the joint meeting that NCS was not privy to the details of the modernization agreement.