A landmark jinx of 63 years has been crushed as President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, assented to the Customs and Excise Management Act amendment bill, 2022.
The amendment bill, Nigeria Customs Service Act, 2022, was sponsored by Hon. Leke Abejide, member representing Yagba federal constituency in the House of Representatives.
Aejide, who is the candidate of African Democratic Congress (ADC) for the November 2023 Kogi governorship election, has proposed the new legislation titled: “A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Customs and Excise Management Act, Cap. C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and other Customs and Excise Legislation and Enact the Nigeria Customs Service Act, 2022 to Provide for the Reform of the Administration and Management of Customs and Excise in Nigeria; and for Related Matters.”
The lawmaker had argued that the amendment bill is genuine, realistic restructuring through the Constitution for the Nigeria Customs Service.
The newly enacted act seeks to position the Nigerian Customs Service to be financially stable to recruit the required number of officers needed to man Nigeria’s porous border stations.
And most importantly, the Bill provides that President shall appoint a career officer not below the rank of Assistant Comptroller General of Customs as Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service which means the current Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali rtd will be the last non-career officer to hold the position of Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service.
The bill provides stiffer punishments for offenders to act as deterrence for serious economic crimes of Customs and Excise oriented, thereby encouraging more revenue in the area of fine payment.
The bill has received Presidential assent, as it was perfect for approval to serve as an act for the Nigeria Customs Service.