House Concurs with Senate, Approves $1.5bn, €995m External Loans

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•Okays N257bn 2021 budget for Customs

Udora Orizu in Abuja

The House of Representatives yesterday concurred with the Senate to approve a request by President Muhammadu Buhari, in May last year, to borrow external loans comprising $1.5 billion, to be sourced from the World Bank, and €995 million ($1.2 billion) from other international agencies.
The House also approved N257, 183, 671,694.71 for the Nigeria Customs Service for the 2021 fiscal year.

The approvals followed the consideration and adoption of reports presented by the House Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, and the Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, presented by Hon. Leke Abejide and Hon. Ahmed Safana Dayyabu respectively.
Presenting the report, Abejide said the lawmakers also approved N1.678 trillion as the target revenue of the agency for 2021.

He said out of the N257,183,671,694.71 approved as Customs budget for 2021, N137,933,180,013.00 was for capital expenditure while personnel and overhead costs were N99,719,722,681.71 and N19,530,769,000.00, respectively.

The report said: ”That the House do consider the report of Committee on Customs and Excise on the issue from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the Nigeria Customs Service the total sum of N1, 678, 715, 061, 014 Nigeria Customs Service expected revenue from the seven per cent collection.
”And 60 per cent from the comprehensive Import Suspension Scheme (CISS) is the sum of N 257,183, 671, 694.71.

“Also approved by the National Assembly, the projected revenue for the year 2021 budget of N1,678,715,061,014.00 be approved for the Nigeria Customs Service.”

Abejide said the committee considered the initial target of N1.465 trillion revenue as inadequate, and so increased it to N1.678 trillion based on the fact that the target for the 2021 fiscal year is less than N1.562 trillion collected in 2020 by NCS.

He directed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to as matter of urgency procure the four scanners for the Customs from the best scanner manufacturers either from Germany or America.

Presenting the report on the external loans, Dayyabu said: ”That the House do consider the report of the Committee on Aids, Loan and Debt Management on the request for the approval of external loans to finance the priority projects of the federal government and approve the recommendations therein.

”Approve the external borrowing plan of $1,500,000,000 and Euro 995,000,000.00. That the terms and conditions of the loans from each lender as contained in a duly executed loan agreements be forwarded to the National Assembly for proper documentation.”