The Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariffs, on Tuesday decried what it described as “gross abuse of government’s fiscal policies” by some companies involved in importation. Chairman of the committee, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, made the assertion while leading members of the committee on an oversight visit to Nigeria Customs Service, Zone A, Yaba, Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the zone comprised 15 commands. Uzodinma said that one of the policies abused by the companies was Automotive Industry Incentive for Importation of Completely Knocked Down (CKDs) and Semi-Knocked Down (SKDs) parts.
“We suspect that most of the imports coming in as CKDs or SKDs are fully built up items. “It means that owners don’t have necessary industrial acclaim to couple the CKDs and government is losing a lot of money in some of those things,” he said.
The chairman said that the committee was in the zone to assess allegations of fraudulent importation of some goods and services into the country. “We will be on ground to assess what they have been claiming they are doing,” he said, adding that this year’s oversight programme was very expansive and different.
“This is why we have decided to come along with the Director, Technical Services of the Ministry of Finance who is in charge of various fiscal policies of government. “Also, the Director, Fiscal Policy from the office of the Minister of Budget and National Planning is involved in the process.
“This has become necessary as we recently embarked on an investigation to various areas of leakages to government revenue. “This is because of the worrisome decline of Customs revenue collection. We embarked on this exercise and in the process we made some preliminary discoveries that are also disturbing.
“We decided to come and have a feel of what is in the field. “We feel it will be proper if it is done jointly with the executive arm of government so that when we conclude the investigation, we will be able to come on the same page,” Uzodinma said.
He explained that the investigation would also assist the committee to come up with solution that would improve on the revenue accruable to government. The chairman, however, assured authorities of the zone of senate’s collaboration to enable them to carry out monitoring and compliance functions.
Earlier, Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs in charge of the zone, Mr Aminu Dahiru, had said that between 75 per cent and 80 per cent of Customs activities in the countries were carried out in the zone. (NAN)
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