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Nigeria Customs Electronic Transactions Bill scales second reading in Senate

A bill to empower the Nigeria Customs Service to carry out electronic transactions scales second reading on the floor of the Senate.

This is according to a statement from the Senate house, which was followed by a presentation of the lead debate on the general principles of the bill by the sponsor, Chairman Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, Senator Francis Alimikhena (PDP-Edo) during the plenary.

The bill is entitled “A bill for an Act to repeal the Customs and Excise Management Act, CAP. C45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and to enact an Act to establish the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2021.”

Alimikhena said that the bill was read the first time on Wednesday, January 29, 2020. The proposed bill sought to bring the Customs and Excise Management Act in line with modern-day reality.

The senator confirmed that an analysis of the CEMA conducted in 2009 found the law to be severely lacking with respect to the World Customs Organisation’s Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC).

He added that the Act did not contain provisions to support the use of electronic documents, signatures and electronic payment as well as application of risk management.

Alimikhena said, “It also does not contain provisions of other information technology that are applicable to the modern Customs administration.”

He further said that another important shortfall of the Customs and Excise Management Act was that it did not legally provide for the establishment of the Nigeria Customs Service.

According to him, the bill when passed would empower the service to be at par with international standards and to enhance the protection of society against smuggling, illegal weapons, narcotics and counterfeit goods among others.

The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff for further legislative action.

They are expected to report back to the house in four weeks.


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