The acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, has ordered the deactivation of some banks over their failure to remit duties collected.
This was contained in a statement issued on Thursday by the National Public Relations Officer of the service, Abdullahi Maiwada.
Adeniyi said some authorized dealer banks were failing to meet service-level agreements with respect to customs duty and statutory charge remittances; hence, the banks were deactivated.
He said the decision followed a thorough audit and due process that aligned with the NCS’ commitment to upholding transparency, accountability, and efficiency in revenue collection.
He said, “We took this decisive action in response to selected authorized dealer banks failing to meet service-level agreements related to customs duty and statutory charge remittances.
“This decision follows a thorough audit and due process, aligning with the NCS’ commitment to upholding transparency, accountability, and efficiency in revenue collection.
“The primary objective is to ensure the accurate and timely remittance of customs duties and other essential funds for national development.”
The statement, however, stated that measures had been put in place to minimize disruptions for importers and stakeholders within the trading ecosystem.
“Despite the deactivation of these banks, the Comptroller-General has implemented measures to minimize disruptions for importers and stakeholders within the trading ecosystem.
“He assures the trading community that all pending assessments will undergo clearance processes in line with international best practices.
“Importers who previously relied on the deactivated banks for duty payments are advised to utilize other authorized dealer banks that comply with NCS regulations.
“Stakeholders encountering challenges with a particular bank are encouraged to use alternatives that function appropriately,” it stated.
Although the customs boss did not mention the names of the affected banks, he said the affected banks would be reactivated once they met all the regulatory requirements and settled outstanding remittances.
“The deactivated banks will have the opportunity to be reactivated once they meet all regulatory requirements and settle outstanding remittances.
“Collaborative efforts with financial regulators and stakeholders are underway to ensure the efficiency and integrity of the Customs Duty Collection system.
“The NCS places a priority on trade facilitation, putting stakeholders and Nigerian citizens first, even in the face of non-compliance by some authorized dealer banks.’’