November 7th, 2013
Nigerian Customs Service
Abidjan Street, Wuse
Abuja – FCT
REQUEST FOR LIST OF JANUARY-SEPTEMBER, 2013 CUSTOM DUTY WAIVER BENEFICIARIES
Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) is a coalition of over hundred and fifty Anti Corruption organizations whose primary aim is to constructively combat corruption vigorously and to ensure the effective monitoring of the various Anti-graft agencies in its activities in the fight against corruption and to enthrone transparency, accountability, probity, and total commitment in the fight to eradicate corruption in Nigeria.
We refer to accounts in newspapers on November 5th 2013, reporting your submission on the country’s loss, in the last nine months (January-September, 2013), of a total of N603 billion as a result of waivers and duty exemptions granted by the Federal Government. This statement, you were reported to have made on November 4th, 2013 during your appearance before the Joint Senate Committees on Finance and Appropriation, investigating reports of alleged over-bloating of the 2013 budget.
You were quoted to have explained that the sharp decline in the revenue collected by the agency during the year was caused by government policies which granted waivers and concessions on some imported and excisable goods. Also, that of the projected revenue of N718 billion for the months of January to August, only N530 billion was collected by the agency, reflecting a shortfall of about N188 billion within the period. The losses were incurred as a result of waivers on petroleum products, manufacturers and assemblers, revenue concessioned to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), import substitution and industrialization.
During your testimony before the panel, you were reported to have also said that the government policies on waivers and import duty exemption on some imported goods and free trade zones are being abused by traders with adverse effect on the estimated revenue that should have been generated by the Nigeria Customs Service from January to end of September, 2013.
You further stated that of the loss to the customs service, N86 billion was from waivers and import duty exemption on NDDC’s imported equipment alone; about N264 billion was from waivers on petroleum products; N76 billion was from manufacturers and assemblers; and N105 billion revenue loss on import duty as a result of the Federal Government’s ban on rice importation, among others.
It was further revealed that the Nigeria Customs Service records have shown that the nation lost only N276.9 billion between 2000 and 2008. While in 2011, the sum of N37.2 billion was lost as a result of import waivers to importers of raw materials, informing Federal Government stoppage of import waivers in 2012. These were alleged to be grants given to export-oriented companies and local manufacturers to export raw materials but instead, sell their certificates to dealers who then in-turn use them to import cars into the country. The recent abuse and misapplication of government waiver by Coscharis Motors succinctly confirm previous assertions of your service.
With this enumerated colossal loss revenue accruable to the country, resulting from waivers and duty exemptions, over the past few years, CSNAC is hereby requesting, in accordance with the Section 2, 3, 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, for the list of beneficiaries of waivers and duty exemptions granted by the government during the period January- September, 2013, with necessary documents connected with their waivers and exemptions.
We look forward to receiving these documents promptly and, in any event, within 7 days of the receipt of this application as provided for in the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.