The Nigeria Customs and Excise Management amendment bill scaled second reading in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
This bill which is seeking to overhaul the existing Act was sponsored by a lawmaker, Leke Abejide (ADC-Kogi), at the plenary.
Abejide said the need for a holistic overhaul of Customs and Excise legislation cannot be overemphasized due to its contribution to fiscal and national policy development.
He added that the Nigeria Customs and Excise Act has not undergone reform since 1958.
The lawmaker said: “You will agree with me that in today’s competitive world, the Act, its regulations, and its operational guidelines are archaic, obsolete, and no longer in tandem with modern day challenges, and this has unfortunately reduced measurably the accruing revenue against the volume of trade.
“This exercise is noticeable in the following areas of collation of all Customs and Excise Legislations into a single compendium of Customs and Excise Act to facilitate easy reference and easy knowledge-driven customs and excise policies.
“This Act will position the Nigeria Customs Service to be financially stable in order to recruit the required number of officers they need to man our porous border stations.
“The Nigeria Customs Service recently has 15,349 officers instead of 30,000 officers needed for the service to function optimally,” he said.
“The current seven percent cost of collection from duties payment is not enough to pay salaries of officers, not to talk of improving the infrastructures.
“For this reason this bill provides for an additional funding system based on four percent in line with international best practice, to address funding problems.
“This will also help to reposition the service for improved efficiency and service delivery.’’
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