CG Customs concerned about finance law – The Sun Nigeria

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On Monday, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali, raised concerns about the Finance Act, saying that some sections of the act nullified its revenue collection mandate.

He raised the concern during an interactive session with the leadership of the Senate and the Senate Finance Committee held at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.

The session was organized “On the Need to Improve the Federal Government of Nigeria Internally Generated Revenue and Agency Revenue Projections as Contained in the Appropriation Act 2022”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting also brought together other revenue generating agencies including the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Corps Federal Highway Safety Authority (FRSC), among others.

Ali in his submission noted that “if we are talking about collection based on the provisions of the finance law, we have to be sure that we still have the collection mandate.

“The Act provides in Section 61(A) as amended that this Act and the Act enumerated in the First Schedule to this Act shall prevail over any other Act with respect to the administration, assessment, collection , accounting, application of taxes and levies due to the federal government.

“It further clarifies that except in cases such as tax or levy is the subject of dispute in a court of competent jurisdiction.

“And if the provisions of any Act or any other Act, including the enactment of the Fourth Schedule, are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, the provisions of this Act shall prevail over the provisions of such other Act in the extent of incompatibility cancel.

“All the other laws that are laws that require us to collect, if they have to be consistent with that, then they are canceled. Which then means that the laws that mandate us as revenue-generating agencies are completely nullified.

He further explained that with the provisions of the Act, this meant that the Service had no responsibility to collect revenue.

“We consulted legal luminaries and the conclusion is that this law is confusing.

“If the stakeholders decide to take advantage of it, they can decide to say that we are not supposed to collect fees and levies and therefore they only pay to the FIRS and it will be complete and utter chaos for this country.”

Reacting, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said, “Now it’s not even about goals. You say you don’t even have a legal mandate to collect income. It is a very frightening revelation.

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“When we say we need more and you say you don’t even have the power to raise money.

“We take this issue very seriously. The Senate Finance Committee, the Department of Finance and the Service will review the law. If it is established beyond reasonable doubt that it is necessary for us to make changes, we will do so quickly,” Lawan said.

The committee chair, Senator Solomon Adeola, said, “This section of the bill is not for you.

“What necessitated this unique action was the result of issues between the Revenue, Mobilization and Taxation Commission (RMFC) and the FIRS.”

NAN reports that the federal government has said it intends to generate 10.7 trillion naira in revenue in fiscal year 2022.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ms. Zainab Ahmed.

Ahmed said the revenue target would be 32.1% higher than the 8.1 trillion naira projected in 2021.

Debt servicing, according to the bill, is expected to gobble up N3.6 trillion.

She further explained that the 2022 budget runs a deficit of N6.3 trillion naira and will be financed by domestic, foreign and multilateral loans and will come from privatization.

A total of 2.5 trillion naira is expected from domestic sources and 2.5 trillion naira from foreign sources, with 1.1 trillion naira from bilateral loans and 90 billion naira from privatization proceeds.

President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the N17.126 trillion Appropriations Bill 2022 on December 31, 2021 (NAN)

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