Customs should stop collecting revenue, Says Finance Ministry

Minister of Finance, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed

Njideka Ozoalor

The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National planning in Nigeria has called for the stripping of the Nigeria Costoms Services of the responsibility of revenue collection.

It said that the responsibility should be transferred to the Federal Inland Revenue service (FIRS).

Stakeholders in the sector opposed the passage of the Customs and Excise Management Amendment Bills, Saying several positions in it were draconian and against global best practices.

Speaking at the public hearing, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry , Aliyu Ahmed said there was the need to unify revenue collection so that Customs can conconcerate on its responsibility of the trade facilitation.

He said. “The single most important function of the Customs Service anywhere in the world is trade facilitation.

“Revenue collection by customs is a distraction. The reason is that the main function of the Nigeria Customs Service is trade facilitation.

“But the trade facilitation has been pushed to the background because of the focus on revenue collection.

“In other climes, the best practices is moving towards unifying revenue collection.

” If we want to go that far, and achieve that best practice, our submission would be to move revenue to the Federal Inland Revenue Service so that Customs Service can really focus on trade facilitation function”.

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