By DAPO OLAWUNI
President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Mr. Tony Iju Nwabunike has assured that the various operational challenges confronting freight forwarders at Nigerian ports would be resolved with the setting up of a consultative forum between ANLCA and the Nigeria Customs Service.
Nwabunike in a chat with DAILY TREND NEWS in Lagos last week gave this indication, saying that the association would not rest on its oars in ensuring that freight forwarders get an enabling environment to practice.
The consultative forum according to him would be constituted this week, and that it would comprise of Customs officers and ANLCA members, with a soul purpose of solving myriads of operational challenges.
Speaking, the ANLCA President stated that “A month ago, this ANLCA went and visited the CG of Customs, and the issue of indiscriminate value of cargoes is one of the things he mentioned, he also mentioned the border closure, indiscriminate alerts, customs police, multiplicity of checkpoints by customs, as well as the Ikorodu Government Warehouse”
“The CG assured that all the changes we enumerated would be looked into, and he wants to form customs and customs brokers consultative forum where all the problems would be put together and jointly solved”
“The classification of value would also be part of the discussions we are going to have very soon on that consultative forum.
I am sure that by the beginning of the consultative forum, all these problems would be tackled” he assured
Nwabunike said the association had written a letter to the Central Bank of Nigeria over the controversies surrounding the opening of form M’ for the purpose of importation, as well as the exchange rate.
He said many Nigeria importers are worried.
“If you look at the exchange rate differentials from Pre-Covid19 and to Post-Covid19, you find out that we were opening form M’ at N326, but today it is N365, you find out that the discrepancy is so high and it is affecting business and trade”
“We have written a letter to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Finance Ministry to stipulate, are there people opening their form M’ during the period of N326 or after the period of N326”
“The moment the announcement was made, the whole system has changed, the system of the Customs Service and their NICIS changed to that new rate, but in the eye of the world, the Naira have not been devalued, but we in Nigeria know that it has been devalued because the rates are changed, it is something to be worried about because our importers are very worried, most of them imported at the old rate and are now paying the duty at the new rate, they cannot reconcile their books, at the end of the day, the common man would suffer for it”