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FEC, Senate okay N265.57bn for Customs, road project

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the Senate have approved a total sum of N265.57 billion for Nigeria Customs Service and augmentation of the Sokoto- Tambuwal-Jega-Makera Road. While FEC approved the sum of N8.39 billion for the portion of the road covering 185 kilometres awarded to CRCC Construction Company, the Senate approved N257.18 billion for Customs in 2021.

Briefing newsmen after the weekly council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the council approved the augmentation because of change in price between 2012 when the contract was awarded and now. Materials and costs have changed and also the scope of works of the 85 kilometres of the road has to be changed now from rehabilitation to reconstruction because it has deteriorated from when it was awarded 12 years ago. So council approved this.

“There are two sections of the road because it comes all the way from Sokoto to Makera. The first section is awarded to Triacta, that section is 296 kilometres and we’ve completed it just recently. The entire 296 kilometres is now motorable. “About 100 kilometres of the second section, which is the subject of augmentation, from Yauri to Makera, has been completed so we just have 85 kilometres to go,” he added.

On its part, the Senate approved the sum of N257.18 as budget for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for the 2021 financial year. The approval followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariffs, presented by the Committee Chairman, Senator Francis Alimikhena (APC, Edo North). In his presentation, Alimikhena said that out of the amount budgeted for the Customs in the 2021 financial year, the sum of N99.719 billion was earmarked for personnel cost; N19.530 billion for overhead, and N137.933 billion for capital cost. He explained that the committee increased the NCS revenue target from N1.465 trillion, to N1.678 trillion.

“In the 2021 fiscal year, NCS revenue target was pegged at N1.465 trillion, comprising of N1.267 trillion for Federation Account and N197.996 billion for Non-Federation Account, respectively. “However, the Senate committee deemed this target to be inadequate, while taking cognizance of the recently assented Finance Act, 2020,” he said.

He stated that other factors such as expansion of excisable items, excise duties of carbonated drinks; tariff review on vehicles; re-opening of border; and projected increase on collectible duty of imports were responsible for the upward review of revenue target for the NCS. The lawmaker noted that expected revenue was from seven per cent cost of collection for 2021 projected at N111.573 billion; two per cent Value Added Tax share of NCS – N7.500 billion; 60 per cent share of CISS – N47.007 billion; and retained earnings for ongoing projects, 2020 – N91.101 billion.

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