Shippers Council Boss; Jime Raises Alarm Over Stifled Funds

The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr Emmanuel Jime has said that the main source of the agency’s revenue which is the quaterly 2% of the the total 7% Ports Development Levy amounting to N3.5billion quarterly, was yet to be given to it.

Jime, a former Governorship aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Benue State, also lamented that Shippers’ Council has been unable to access the 1% charge on export and import which is one of its statutory source of revenue since the agency was established in 1978.

The Shippers’ Council Executive Secretary made this disclosure at the ongoing 2022-2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF & FSP) Interactive Session with MDAS at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.

According to him, the Nigeria Customs Service is the agency responsible for the collection of the 2% and remit same to Office of the Accountant General.

Based on these complaints, the House of Representatives had on Tuesday summoned the Nigerian Customs Service, Accountant General of the Federation and Budget Office to appear before it on Monday, to explain issues surrounding the collection and appropriation of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council 2% Ports Development quarterly Levy.

Both arms of the National Assembly, have quasi-judicial Powers, to summon any government official to give account of public funds.

Jime, a former member of the House of Representatives while highlighting the major challenges his organisation was facing said: “there is also the extra challenge we have, the agency responsible for the collection of that particular 2% that is been given under the current arrangement is Customs.

According to him, Custom after collection remit the revenue to “the Office of the Accountant General, “it is Customs that determines what amounts to percentage of the Port Levy; So we’re not really involved”

Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Rep. James Faleke directed that the Agencies involved should be invited to clarify the issue.

“ES, we have to come back on Monday on this issue. Customs will be here, budget Office will be here and the Accountant General Office to come – invite Accountant General Office on the issue of collection by Customs (Shipper’s Revenue)”, Faleke said.

The Shippers Council Boss sought lawmakers intervention on the matter even as he was going to take up the matter with the supervising Ministry of Transportation.

“There this statutory source of revenue, 1% charge on export and import. Since Shippers’ Council was established, that particular source of revenue has never been accessed and I’m taking it up with the supervising Ministry and it is also one area that I will ultimately be going to seek the support from the other side (lawmakers)”, he stated.

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