The Nigerian Senate has commenced a thorough investigation into operations of the Tin-Can Island and Seme Area Commands, as part of efforts to plug leakages in the Nigeria Customs Service.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs, Exercise and Tariff, Senator Hope Uzodinma, hinted reporters of the investigation during a three-day oversight visit to the various commands in Lagos.
According to him, the committee, with mandate from the Senate, embarked on the fact finding mission in view of several petitions received from stakeholders on alleged corrupt practices in the service.
He added that the Senate would continue to work to help reposition the Nigeria Customs Service and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in view of the need to focus on non-oil revenue generation to fund the country’s annual budget with a deficit of over 2 trillion Naira.
“There is now a national call to duty for all of us irrespective of where you are and where you are working from to come up and contribute your own quota so that the economy can be rescued.
“So, our target is to be able to triple the revenue earnings of Nigerian Customs in 2017 and to be able to do that we have to identify the obstacles otherwise the challenges confronting the Nigerian Customs Service so that once they are identified they will amplify, increase or enhance the revenue earning mechanism of the service so that by 2017 Nigerian Customs will be in the position to even fund the national budget.
“There are opportunities and the traffic is very high but some of the challenges are also avoidable so we are looking at all these areas and that at the end of the exercise, we would have strengthened the process of revenue generation in the Nigerian Customs Service and also boost their profile in a manner that they will be happy and government will be happy. It will be a win-win situation for everybody”.