The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali, has revealed that the closure of the land boarder by the federal government is a blessing to the agency.
He disclosed that the NCS had been raking in between N4.7bn and N5.8bn since the Federal Government closed the nation’s borders.
Ali stated this when he appeared before the Senate and House of Representatives joint committees on Finance and National Planning, working on the 2020 – 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
The development came just as the joint panel summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the Controller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandede, to appear before it on Thursday.
The heads of the two agencies are expected to brief the joint panel on the MTEF/FSP documents.
The NCS boss had while addressing the lawmakers said the land border closure was a blessing to the nation.
He said, “When we closed the border, my fear was that our revenue was going to drop. To be honest, our revenue kept increasing.
“There was a day in September that we collected N9.2bn in one day. It had never happened before.
“This was after the closure of the border and since then, we have maintained an average of about N4.7bn to N5.8bn on a daily basis which is far more than we used to collect.”
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Group urges Buhari to restrict importation of roofing sheets, others
The Federal Government has been advised to adopt policy framework that will lead to the restriction of importation of goods such galvanized roofing sheets and other steel products that are abundantly produced in Nigeria to further boost the nation’s economy.
With the land border closure, it is evident that agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy has improved, therefore, it is a tested hypothesis that if adequate attention is given to the seaports operations, smuggling will be tackled and the steel sector will be saved from collapse.
The Galvanized Iron and Steel Manufacturers’ Association, (GISMA) in a statement signed by its Spokesperson, Mr. Lateef Bello, on Wednesday noted that the boarder closure has brought more economic benefits to the nation.
GISMA noted that the revenue declared by the authority of Nigeria Customs Service, (NSC) is commendable stressing that more can still be achieved through holistic approach to the ongoing smuggling of roofing sheets and other steel products.
According to the statement, “For President Muhammadu Buhari to actualize the many targets as contained in the 2020 appropriation bill presented before the joint session of National Assembly, there is need to place absolute restriction on items made in Nigeria. At the moment, it is saddened to note that smuggled roofing sheets of low standards have flooded Nigerian markets at the detriment of local manufacturers and unsuspecting consumers.
“Going by the experience of some emerging economies in the world such as Malaysia and Singapore, no items produced in these two countries are allowed to be imported and the restriction policy has accelerated their Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) as well as their security techniques.
“It is important to take comparative advantage of this policy to further relief Nigerians of the sufferings and unemployment persisting in the nation. Iron and Steel industry if well protected, is capable of generating an average of 20,000 jobs yearly with significant turnover on the Internally Generated Revenue for the government.”
The group however appealed to President Buhari to take bold steps towards salvaging the economic interest of local manufacturers as well as curbing insecurity which has ravaged some states in the North-East. This was part of our public outcries during a peaceful protest held recently in Kaduna; we thank Mr. President for heeding to our plights.
“In as much as we want to encourage President Muhammadu Buhari to beef up more surveillance on Nigerian Boarder Control System, it is pertinent for the federal government and other relevant agencies to ensure that importation of goods are carried out through Premier Ports with full documentations and follow-ups”, he added.
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