The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, retired Col. Hameed Ali, on Monday said the service generated more than N600 billion for the last quarter of 2016.

Ali said this while addressing newsmen on the sidelines of the 136th meeting of the Joint Tax Board in Abuja.

He said Customs contributed N903 billion to the nation’s coffers in 2015.

According to him, the drop is due to the fluctuating foreign exchange rates and the ban on importation of more items by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

There are 41 items banned from importation; among them are soap and cosmetics, tomatoes/tomato pastes, plywood boards and panels, wooden doors, rice, cement, margarine and toothpicks.

Ali said “the service made more than N600 billion in the last quarter of 2016.

“I will not say it regrets but the CBN should have liaised with the Service before placing ban on some of the items.’’

Ali said the collaboration between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Nigeria Immigration Service would boost income and shift the nation’s view from oil.

“With the declining revenue from the oil industry, our economy is dangerously exposed to the uncertainties in the oil sector.

“We must therefore look beyond oil and focus attention on tax which is internally generated.

“As revenue generating agencies, working together will put us squarely on the driving seat of Nigeria’s vehicle towards an economic model that is inward looking and self sustaining.

He said the application of modern tools to check corruption among the agencies would minimise leakages.

Ali said a review and expansion of excise duties were being looked into for locally manufactured items, to expand government’s tax base to generate more revenue.


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