Lagos — The onslaught unleashed on customs duty evaders by the Nigeria Customs Service has revealed some oil majors as among the individuals and organisations that may have been depriving the federal government of customs duty revenue.
Barely one week of swinging into action in the Eastern ports, the Customs Duty Investigation Team ‘B’ has uncovered revenue losses to the tune of N10 billion through large scale breach of clearance procedures and unpaid assessments.
An extract from the interim report of the investigation team submitted by the Head, Hassan Mundu, and made available to LEADERSHIP, fingered the oil majors as being deeply involved in the breaches.
“A glean from the interim report submitted by the team head, Hassan Mundu, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs, indicated large scale breach of clearance procedure and unpaid assessments as the major reasons for the revenue loss.
“Majority of the defaulters are the big oil and gas companies operating in the area as well as a handful of Nigerian companies engaged in providing various ancillary services to them.”
According to the report, an unpaid sum of N9,389, 477,000.00 made up of customs duty and other charges are outstanding against the companies due to non-utilisation of Risk Assessment Report(RAR), in 2007 and 2008. The report also said that during the same period, about N1.5 billion was discovered as unpaid assessments still hanging in the customs ASYCUDA system
Risk Assessment Report is a mandatory document required for all customs duty transactions in Nigeria. Issued by the DI Service Providers, it provides a guide to the customs as to the description of goods imported, its tariff classification for duty purposes and duty payable by the importer. It recommends the appropriate level of intervention necessary for customs before clearance is effected. This may vary from documentary check, scanning or physical examination,” the statement explained.
It would be recalled that the Customs Comptroller-General, Dikko Abdullahi, had set up the duty investigation team to look at the possible areas of revenue leakages in order to address the problem of dwindling revenue from customs duty.