Kemi Adeosun
  •  N20 billion needed for overhaul, says Comptroller-General

Chika Amanze-Nwachuku
The federal government is to embark on total overhaul of equipment being used by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at the nation’s airports as part of efforts to enhance its performance and increase revenue generation.

Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, made the pledge yesterday during a one-day inspection of Customs facilities at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Adeosun noted that the reduction in revenue generated by the Customs was due to the use of outdated equipment. She also faulted the absence of modern container scanning equipment at the nation’s airports, seaports and land borders, pointing out that one of the major means of detecting contraband goods at these borders was through the deployment of container scanners.

The minister, who was accompanied by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd), restated federal government’s determination to boost revenue through the provision of enabling tools and equipment that will aid the various revenue agencies in the discharge of their duties.

According to her, the use of obsolete equipment negatively impacts revenue collected by the agencies and promotes inefficiency, and pledged to ensure that all outdated equipment currently being used by the Customs were overhauled and modern ones deployed in line with international best practices.

She said the use of modern equipment would promote trade facilitation and increase the revenue generating capacity of Customs.

In his remarks, Ali said the equipment needed for the nation’s international airports would cost N20 billion.
He said the Customs will soon meet with the minister to discuss the funding requirement of the NCS in details and expressed the hope that with the support of the minister, the problem would be addressed.

The NCS had recorded a revenue shortfall of N44 billion in the first nine months of 2015.

It was revealed that the Customs generated approximately N668.97 billion as revenue between January and September 2015 as against N713 billion generated within the same period 2014.