Not less than N138.9 billion, representing 35.5 per cent in income generation was lost by the country between January and May, 2016 due to the forex policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali, rtd, disclosed yesterday.
This is even as the Senate Committee on Finance directed all the revenue generating agencies in the country to henceforth prepare and submit reports of their performances on quarterly basis to the committee for assessment.
Ali, however, said the NCS generated the sum total of N312. 9billion for the country within the period under review, which he added was from the Valued Added Tax, VAT and the Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate, NDCC.
Briefing the Senator John Enoh-led Senate Committee on Finance, on the performance of his organization, he also disclosed that within the period, the NCS lost a total of N138.9billion out of the N390.6billion it was expected to generate within the period.
He further disclosed that the agency was able to gather the sum of N251.8billion out of which the sum of N211.124,434,386.60 was generated for the federation Account with the sum of N40,591,872,059.41 generated for Non federation Account.
Giving breakdown of revenue generation within the period, the Customs boss said “compared to last year or what we are expected to generate, we are in deficit of 18,406,949,135.55 as against the sum of NN78,110,936,416.67 expected to be generated in the month of January.”
For the month of February, the customs, according to Ali, lost N27,176,737,878.21 instead of N78,110,936.416.67 just as the sum of N28,910,737,844.24 could not be realized from N78,110,936,416.67 expected in the month.
The agency equally lost the sum of N32,304,439,625.98 from N78,110,936,416.67 in April just as it lost N32,039,511,153.56 from the expected generation of the sum of N78,110,936,416.67 in the month of May. “With this, it means we have 35% less than what we are supposed to have generated, ”he said.
He attributed the loss to three variables among which according to him, included the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s new forex policy and increase in volume of credit.
“The CBN forex policy has become a big problem to trade, therefore people are not importing and we are a nation that is dependent on importation. If people do not import, there will be no duty paid and Customs we has nothing to collect.
“With this trend, there is no way we can, by any chance, meet the target set to us. We are hoping and praying that with the release of the budget and with the now relaxed forex market, we hope that traders will begin to pick up and import things. If things do not improve, certainly, we are in big problem, ”he said.
He added: “The bottom line is that we need God’s intervention for us to really back on track.”
Speaking, Chairman of the committee, Senator John Enoh, who expressed worry over the development, directed all revenue generating agencies in the country to henceforth not only prepare but also submit their detailed performances to the committee.
“We hope that we will not have to wait for the revenue generation agencies to submit their detailed performance reports on quarterly basis; the revenue generating agencies will be making returns to the Senate Committee on Finance on what is going on their performances so that we will know how we are doing.
“With this, we expect that we will be getting some information about the performance of the various revenue generating indices for the 2016 budget, “he said.

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