…Demands Scrapping of Export Levies, Says Exporters Avoiding Export Warehouses
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Chief Executive Officer of XPT Logistics and former Chairman of Export Group of the Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Barr Kola Awe has said that Nigerian ports are still far from being paperless.
This is even as he urged the Federal government to scrap export levy collections on agricultural products and collection of registration charges to Domestic Export Warehouses (DEWs).
Barr Awe stated this recently at an event tagged “Multi-agency Stakeholders Enlightenment on Key Reforms of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council under the National Action Plan 7.0 on Agro-Export”
According to him, the Nigerian export procedure and documentation process is extremely too complex and needs to be broken down. He said that for an exporter to perfect his documentation, he is mandated to visit numerous government agencies with offices in Ikaja, Apapa, Ijora and various offices scattered around Lagos.
“If we cannot harmonise all these people in one place so that we can have the transaction done, it becomes an issue.
In Ghana you don’t write to various agencies, you only write to Customs.
“When it comes to examination side, the same number of agencies are there. It impedes the whole essence of global best practices and competitiveness, the processes are extremely too much.
“Our ports are not yet paperless ports. Once you make something difficult to approach or accomplish, freight forwarders will always look for way out” he said
The CEO of XPT Logistics who was delivering a key paper at the meeting also said that exporters are avoiding taking their goods to the established government export warehouses because of the export levies.
“Why are exporters running from the export warehouses? It is because of the export levy, the Federal Government should scrap export levies and register more warehouses.
“The SOP on export says that all exports must originate from export warehouses, but today, 80percent of export do not originate from these warehouses.
“Everything that needs to be done must be perfected at the warehouses, if exporters abide by these SOP, there is no way we would be having the rejects that we are having today.
“There is an imposition of export levy of $5 for five different cargoes; Cocoa, Ginger, Cotton and Rubber. Every other one is $15
Also, the cost of registering to the warehouses should be made lower so that exporters can be encouraged to go into that place” he said
Barr Awe further highlighted the need for government to Deploy technology into the port process.
“Deploying technology in Nigeria is war, there are shipping lines today that you cannot go inside, they would tell you to go and send it by mail, yet the container is there accruing demurrage because it takes them days to respond to the mail.
“We have one of such problem currently where the Exporter pays 200USD per day, the problems is not from the exporter but from the shipping line.
“As long as shipping lines continue like this, we can never improve exportation, the shipping companies are the Chief Chairman of Arbitrary charges.