The Senate has said it may consider stripping President Goodluck Jonathan of the powers to grant duty exemption to certain categories of organisations.
Also to be affected if the new laws scale through is the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala who will no longer have the authority to appoint members to the board of Nigeria Customs.
There was a sharp disagreement between the Presidency, the Customs Service and the Senate over the amendment, even as the Executive stressed that the amendment process must be jettisoned against the backdrop that the Customs Service cannot be saddled with these powers that are presently being carried out by the President.
The Senate also revealed that the Customs this year lost a total of N58.7 billion to waivers granted by the executive.
This is coming as the Comptroller- General of Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko Inde yesterday faulted the exiting laws the body operates with, stressing that activities presently being carried out by the body were not provided for or codified in any law.
Represented by Deputy Comptroller of Customs in charge of Corporate Support Services, John Atteh, Dikko Inde said, ‘’a cursory look at the current law reveals a number of deficiencies arising from the fact that many actions currently being undertaken by the NCS are not provided for or codified in any law and therefore do not have a proper legal basis.
Many such actions are typically based on pronouncements from government, raising the questions of where the powers to enact such policies came from except as provided by the powers of the Executive President of Nigeria to enact policies. This then makes the pronouncements just policies and subject to judicial manoeuvres especially if such policies contradict existing legislations. Furthermore, changes conducted in this fashion cloud the spirit of transparency and consultation.‘’