The House of Representatives Committee on Finance yesterday rejected the N1.3 trillion projected by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) as revenue to be generated in 2022 fiscal year.
The comptroller-general of Customs, Hameed Ali, had in his presentation at the ongoing public hearing on the 2022/2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), disclosed that the agency is projecting a revenue of N1.33 trillion for 2022.
According to him, they came up with a figure that’s realizable with the hope that it will be surpassed.
“We came up with a figure that is realizable, then whatever comes thereafter, it’s our hope that we will surpass that. We try to be as realistic as we can in our proposal,” he said.
But the lawmakers, in their reaction, described the projection as too low for Nigerians.
A member of the Committee and chairman, House Committee on Customs, Hon. Leke Abejide, said the projection is ridiculous given that the naira has devalued.
He said he expected the agency’s proposal to be N2.5 trillion and above.
According to him, “This is very ridiculous because now the naira has been devalued already. So you will discover that the volume of money you’re getting, if you want to get the real value you will see that it’s not real improvement.
pected the proposal to be from N2.5 trillion and above. So if you look at the value of the naira that’s going down, it needs upward review. So please take note of the parameters and secondly the finance act has been passed. There are so many ways we can get revenue now better than last year.”
Another member, Hon. Muktar Ahmed, said there’s no way the committee will accept anything less than N3 trillion.
In his ruling, the chairman of the Committee, Hon. James Faleke, stressed that at the beginning of every year, the Budget Office takes a critical look at expected revenue generation of the country.
He said that it is done to know what gap in required funds and make adequate preparation for borrowing, adding that if more revenue is generated, the amount of money to be borrowed will reduce.
While corroborating his colleagues’ assertion, he added that everyone will be pleased with their report when it eventually comes out.
Falake said: “CG, the issue is this, what the Budget Office work with is the figures available to them on paper. And at the beginning of the year, for results to be achieved, they will likely see what’s coming in. We are saying no, that your gross revenue generation is low given all the available opportunities that you have; when you also look at your previous performance in 2020 to 2021. For us as a committee on finance, we will not accept the N1.3 trillion, I am sure by the time our report comes out, you will be pleasantly happy.”