The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) reports that the waivers and concessions granted to investors under former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration resulted in a financial loss of N1.3 trillion.
Deputy Comptroller General Mba Musa, addressing the Senate joint committees during a public hearing on the 2024–2026 medium-term expenditure framework and fiscal strategy, emphasized that the concessions significantly affected the potential revenue the NCS could have added to Nigeria’s consolidated revenue fund in 2023.
DCG Musa represented Adewale Adeniyi, the Comptroller General (CG).
“By now, we shouldn’t be talking about concessions for cement manufacturers; we should not even be talking about sugar importation.
“We should not deny ourselves the revenues that we should generate to make our economy vibrant. By now, we should be consolidating on waivers given to boost revenues.
“We would review the waivers and make our recommendations. By now, you (NCS) should be meeting up on your projected target, If there are no waivers,
“The NCS lost N1.3 trillion in 2023 due to waivers and concessions the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration granted to investors,” Musa said.
Reacting to the agency’s submission, Sani Musa, the chairman of the joint committee, called for a Senate probe into the waivers and concessions, emphasizing that such concessions should not hinder revenue generation critical for the country’s economic growth.
Furthermore, the Senate sought clarity on the NCS modernization project, known as e-customs, requesting details of the agreement signed by the federal government.
In response, Adeniyi stated that the service lacks access to specifics regarding the $3.2 billion modernization project agreement.
“We are not privy to details of the modernization agreement of the Nigeria Customs Modernization Project,” Mba told the federal lawmakers.”
The customs modernization project was approved for implementation by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, with a specific approval to entrust it to a concessionaire.
The concessionaire was Bergman Securities Consultant and Suppliers Limited as the project sponsor, Africa Finance Corporation UFC as the lead financier, and Huawei Technologies was to be trained as a lead technical service provider.
However, stakeholders have condemned the project, saying it would mortgage the future of the service and also pose a threat to national security.
Speaking to the Senate committee, Mba told the lawmakers during the joint session that the NCS was not privy to details of the modernization agreement.