The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has reported a substantial revenue loss of N1.3 trillion in 2023, attributing it to waivers and concessions granted to investors during the tenure of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
During a public hearing on the 2024–2026 medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy, Deputy Comptroller General Mba Musa, representing Comptroller General Adewale Adeniyi, highlighted the impact of these concessions on the NCS’s revenue potential.
Musa stressed the need to reconsider concessions for sectors like cement manufacturing and sugar importation, emphasizing the missed opportunity to bolster Nigeria’s consolidated revenue fund. Expressing concern, he stated, “The NCS lost N1.3 trillion in 2023 due to waivers and concessions granted by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.”
In response to the NCS’s revelation, Senate committee chairman Sani Musa called for a thorough probe into the waivers and concessions. He emphasized the importance of ensuring that such concessions do not impede crucial revenue generation essential for the country’s economic growth.
Additionally, the Senate sought clarity on the NCS’s modernization project, known as e-customs, requesting details of the agreement signed by the federal government. Comptroller General Adewale Adeniyi responded, stating that the service lacks access to specifics regarding the $3.2 billion modernization project agreement, creating an additional layer of scrutiny.
Providing more insights, it was revealed that the Customs modernization project was approved for implementation by the administration of Buhari. The project entrusted Bergman Securities Consultant and Suppliers Limited as the project sponsor, Africa Finance Corporation UFC as the lead financier, and Huawei Technologies as the designated lead technical service provider.
Despite these details, stakeholders have criticized the project, alleging that it poses a threat to national security and compromises the future of the Customs service. During the Senate committee session, Mba reiterated that the NCS was not privy to the specifics of the modernization agreement, raising further questions about transparency and oversight in the implementation of significant projects.