…Says–We will Address the Issue of NAC Levy
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Wale Adeniyi as part of his strategic engagement with stakeholders under the Zone ‘A’ visited the Tin Can Island Port and Apapa port on Tuesday.
While addressing the mammoth crowd of clearing agents who came out to greet him at the Tin Can Island Port, Adeniyi said the customs is aware of the challenges the agents were passing through, especially the drop in importation of vehicles.
He assured that the customs would put up a position on the issue of 15% NAC Levy slammed on importation of vehicles under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the immediate past Comptroller General of customs, Hameed Ali, even as he assured that the customs would engage the federal government on revisiting it.
Speaking, the Customs CGC said “I have heard your concerns and the complaints which your representatives have put across to us, anybody who is in business wants to make profit, and there is no crime when you do business and you make profit.
“However, the understanding that we must have is that your business must be conducted within the framework of the law.
“The NAC Levy and other ones are policies, we would also have a position on it and we would engage the government, the most important thing is for us to listen to you when you express these concerns and then we go and address it.
“Please give us time, we will address the issue of levy, we are also not happy with everything that is going on, the rate of importation is low, we know that Vehicles are not coming as they were coming before and because of that, some of you are not getting as many jobs as you used to, I used to work here, so I know your pains and what you are going through” he said
At the stakeholders interactive session in Apapa customs command, the Customs CG was inundated with challenges confronting freight forwarding practitioners at the port.
While speaking at the meeting, Dr Kayode Farinto commended the customs boss for disbanding the CGC Strike Force which held sway under the Hameed Ali’s administration.
Farinto charged the CGC to address challenges of customs Police stopping cargoes indiscriminately after they are cleared out of the port. He also lamented that the VIN valuation on vehicles which was created in 2022 by the service has been distorted.
“We all know that there could be interventions here and there, but the normal practice is for six or seven months, but the CGC Strike Force refused to leave.
“On behalf of all the freight forwarders, I assure you that we would work with you and by God’s grace you would succeed.
“We need you to redefine the role of customs Police, it has become embarrassing in the last few months where they intercept cargoes at odd hours, they have acquired about fifty motorcycles that they are using, and we get calls from our members 1am in the morning
“Looking at the issue of fluctuating exchange rate, I believe that this is an international trade and it is high time we look at way forward.
The prevailing exchange rate with which we open our Form ‘M’ needs to be sacrosanct, we need to do it professionally.
“I want to advise that you set up a tripartite meeting CBN, Nigeria Customs Service and the Clearing Agents. The CBN has been encroaching on the function of the customs through diverting from monetary policies into fiscal policies, opening form M is not part of their business.
“PAAR is being issued and queried by same customs service VIN valuation was our baby, for us to have uniformed value on imported cars, we started VIN valuation on a very good note, but I am very sad to inform you that it has been distorted.
There are some categories of vehicles that are not in the customs system” Farinto stated.