The Federal Government has restated the commitment of the current administration to empower the Nigerian Customs Service to enhance its performance and increase revenue generation.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun made this pledge during a one-day inspection of Customs facilities at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Friday.
Adeosun, who was accompanied by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hammed Alli, lamented that one of the reasons for the consistent drop in revenue collected by Customs is the use of outdated equipment.
She also faulted the absence of modern container scanning equipment at the nation’s airports, seaports and land borders, explaining that one of the major means of detecting contraband goods at these borders is through the deployment of container scanners.
She reiterated the determination of the current administration to boost revenue through the provision of enabling tools and equipment that will aid the various revenue agencies.
According to her, the use of obsolete equipment negatively impacts revenue collected by the agency the agency and promotes inefficiency.
She therefore pledged that the Federal Government would as a matter of priority ensure that all the outdated equipment being used by Customs in the discharge of their duties at the nation’s airports is overhauled. Government, she said, would ensure the provision of modern equipment, in line with international best practices.
She said scanners and other equipment would be procured to enhance the operations of Customs.
The Minister said the new equipment would promote trade facilitation and increase the revenue generating capacity of Customs.
In his remarks, Col Ali said the equipment needed for the nation’s international airports would cost N20 Billion.
He said the Customs Command will soon meet with the minister to discuss the funding requirements of Customs in detail and he expressed confidence that with the support of the minister, the problem will soon be fixed.
He said the new equipment would streamline the work of officers and boost the efficiency of collections.