“The law states in Section 61(A) as amended that this Act and the law listed in the First Schedule to this Act shall take precedence over any other laws with regards to the administration, assessment, collection, accounting, enforcement of taxes and levies due to the Federal Government.
“It further states that except in cases such that tax or levy is a subject of litigation in a court of competent jurisdiction.
“And if the provisions of any Act or any other law, including the enactment in the Fourth Schedule are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, the provisions of this Act shall prevail on the provisions of that other law to the extent of inconsistency should be void.
“All other laws which are laws that mandate us to collect, if they are to be consistent with this, then they are voided.
Going further, Ali explained that with the provisions of the Act, it means that the Service did not have the responsibility to collect revenue.
“We have consulted with legal luminaries and the conclusion is that this Act is confusing.
“If stakeholders decide to take leverage of this, they can decide to say we are not supposed to collect duties and levies and therefore they only pay to FIRS and that will be a complete, total chaos to this country,”Ali observed with concern.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, while reacting to the statement by the Customs boss, said that the revelation was scary as the complaint was not even about targets, but that the Customs don’t even have any legal mandate to collect revenue.
“When we are saying we need more and you are saying you don’t even have the power to collect money.
“We take this issue very seriously. The Senate Committee on Finance, Ministry of Finance, and the Service will look at the Act.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola, pointed out that the section of the bill is not targeted at Customs, but rather the singular action was as a result of the issues between the Revenue, Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (RMFC) and FIRS.
It could be recalled that the National Assembly had earlier said that revenue-generating agencies of the Federal Government were capable of generating N3 trillion annually if the resources are prudently spent.
Alleged cross- border smuggling of fuel: Fate of detained Customs officer uncertain — summoned, detained in Abuja
Customs demonises officer amidst claims of official complicity in smuggling of petroleum products across border
” This video depicts a half-clad individual recording himself while claiming to have arrested trucks carrying premium motor spirit across the border as an officer of Nigeria Customs Service.
“The facts are as follows; the person in the video is indeed an officer of Nigeria Customs Service, and he is currently attached to the Federal Operations Unit Zone D in Adamawa.
” It is important to note that 55 kilometers separate this location from the nearest border.
“Between the place where this incident occurred and the border, there are fully operational petrol stations.
” As vehicles in transit, they are considered still to be well within city limits and therefore can neither be accused of nor arrested for transporting goods across the border.
“All our officers are compelled by a strict dress code to not only be in uniform while on duty, but to adorn their name tags for easy identification by members of the public.
” Indeed, his actions led to his immediate withdrawal by the Controller Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘D’, who instructed his detention pending medical evaluation.
“The NCS seriously frowns at any action that is inimical to the economic well-being of our nation.
“The levels of checks and counter-checks created as part of the NCS strategic enforcement initiative have made it extremely difficult for breaches to occur.
“Nigeria Customs Service wants to assure members of the public of the commitment of its officers and men to securing our borders.
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