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Mr. Leke Abejide, the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise, says Customs and Excises Management Act Amendment Bill which was passed recently by the National Assembly will improve the performance of the Customs in ensuring comprehensive reform of the Service.

Abejide told the newsmen that the act was the first major reform of the service in 63 years, while expressing the confidence that the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari would assent to the bill in order to give the Customs more bite in their operations, saying although the bill was passed in June and sent to the President for assent, it was returned to the National Assembly with some observations which have been corrected and returned to the President.

He said: “I am sure that the President will sign the bill when he returns from his trip to the United States of America. When the bill is signed into law, it will bring about the biggest reforms in the Customs in 63 years.

“The Nigeria Customs has been operating one law for the past 63 years and the content of that law is no longer in consonance with modern realities. That is why this law is necessary.

“We have taken care of the observations from the Presidency. We sat down with the management of the Nigeria Customs and officials of the Ministry of Justice to do what they wanted. The clean copy has been returned and I am sure it will soon be signed into law.

“It will enhance the operations of the Customs and they will be in a position to recruit more personnel because they will have more money for their operations.”

However, he said that even though nothing had been done about repairing the old scanners, the committee will ensure that the management of the service makes budgetary arrangements for their repairs in their 2023 budget estimate.

Abejide said, “we cannot abandon those national assets especially when they are still useful. We will include the repair in their 2023 budget when it is brought to the National Assembly”.

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