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N11bn missing in Customs

Posted by By JAMES OJO, Abuja on 2007/12/11 | Views: 634 |

N11bn missing in Customs


Not satisfied with explanations given by the Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, Bernard Nwadialor, on why N11billion revenue generated by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) was yet to be remitted to the coffers of government, the House of Representatives has summoned the management of the Customs for clarification.

Not satisfied with explanations given by the Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, Bernard Nwadialor, on why N11 billion revenue generated by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) was yet to be remitted to the coffers of government, the House of Representatives has summoned the management of the Customs for clarification.

Nwadialor told the House of Representatives Committee on Customs that the amount was made up of taxes paid by manufacturers on the goods they exported out of the country and that the money had been “hanging” as it was not in any of the Customs accounts.

The disappearance of the money came into the open when the Deputy Comptroller General led a team of Customs top management to the 2008 budget proposals before the committee.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Yakubu Dogara told journalists, after the meeting, that members of the committee felt scandalized that the N11 billion, which was generated by the NCS, has not been remitted into any of the accounts operated by the service.

As a result of the revelation, he said that directives had been issued to the officials of Customs Service to furnish the committee with all relevant documents that could assist in tracing the money immediately so that the probe could commence.

The DCG of Customs had, during the budget defence, informed the lawmakers that out of the N230 billion projections for the year, it was only able to generate N191 billion between January and October, while blaming the shortfall largely on the waivers on some goods imported into the country as well the activities of smugglers.

For the 2008 estimated revenue, Nwadialor said that the Customs had been mandated to generate N284 billion in 2008, stressing that the N19 billion budget proposal for the NCS, which is seven per cent of its expected revenue, would be inadequate for its various activities in 2008 fiscal year.
He said that out of the N19 billon, N13 billion was for recurrent expenditure, while N6 billion was left for capital expenditure.

He pointed out that there was need for provision to be made for the training of officers and men of the Service, as well as for recruitment, noting that recruitment was last done for the service in 1993
“It is unfortunate that the staff strength of Customs has been reduced from 21,000 to about 16, 000, while efforts to recruit new ones have not been fruitful,” he lamented.

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