…Tasks Customs CG On Stakeholders Engagement
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has recounted the damage done to the freight forwarding and shipping sector as a result of the ban on 42 items of traded goods by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under its former Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
While reacting to the recent removal of ban on these items, Founder of NAGAFF, Dr Boniface Aniebonam said that the practitioners will never forgive Emefiele for killing their businesses.
Aniebonam also charged the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi to carryout stakeholders engagements in order to further feel the pulse of the practitioners.
In a lengthy statement circulated at the weekend, Aniebonam said “It has become obvious that new hope for Nigeria has become a reality. This is because it is unthinkable that Mr Godwin Emefiele other than facing his primary assignment of regulating monetary policy of Nigeria decided to dabble into fiscal policies trade matters.
“This man Emefiele indeed was a disaster to the economy of Nigeria. We strongly believe that his suffering is just started and we thank Mr president for his popular decision to lift the ban on forex benefits on rice and the 42 items of trade goods
“And for the customs we thank the past administration who were able to manage the human element barrier to trade which was caused mr Godwin Emefiele.
“Many Nigerians may not really know the level of damage done to trade by the action of Mr Godwin Emefiele . This man Emefiele mischievously and technically banned the importation of rice and the 42 items of trade goods.
“This is because the trade policy of Nigeria is mandatory on all imports into Nigeria to undergo FORM M registration through the authorised commercial banks
“It therefore conote that the ban on form registration on rice importation and the 42 items were a straight ban on the items from being imported into Nigeria
“Nigeria trading public must be very grateful and appreciative of the Nigeria customs to have found a way out to assist within tolerable limit thus relying on section 27 of customs and excise mgt act as it were dwelling on improper documentation to act — Bill of sight under destination inspection trade policy of the government.
“The freight forwarding practitioners , shippers and indeed the trading community will never forgive and forget the damage done to their investments by the avoidable actions of mr Godwin Ememiele seating as the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria” he said
The NAGAFF Founder also noted that the ban lifting shall enable the Nigerian Customs to continue with the ongoing customs modernisation.
This according to him is because the action of Emefiele striffled compliance level of the trading community in the customs ports and borders.
“What the CGC needed to do at the moment is stakeholders engagement, enhanced compliance and responsible partnership with the freight forwarding practitioners. New hope for Nigeria in the area of customs control shall include collaboration with the council for the regulation of freight forwarding of Nigeria whose mandate is to control and regulate the practice of freight forwarding in Nigeria.
“Additionally the new customs administration must understand that the modern day administration is about devolution of power and authority to enhance productivity. It therefore means that the zonal commands of the Nigeria customs service must be activated to play a major role in customs operations.
“The customs headquarters should be made to concentrate on policy issues, welfare of officers and men, training and retraining of officers, disciplinary measures, issuance of licences and permits , promotions , international relations and engagement etc.
“Seating at Abuja headquarters and issuing trade alerts at the ports and borders may be anti trade facilitation actions and indeed a sign of distrust of the operational officers and systemic in corruption act
“What is certain and indeed a fact is that customs duty assessment starts from the ships manifest submitted to the customs by the captain. Therefore the paar ruling center of the customs should attract the attention of the comptroller General of customs. Paar ruling center should be made to perform their statutory responsibility as a risk management tool and facilitation of trade.
“NAGAFF as a responsible partner to the Nigeria customs service at this time and inline with new hope for Nigeria, it is our belief that Customs must think out of the box.
“We are conversant and familiar with the statutory functions of the the customs which shall include but not limited to revenue collection and accounting, suppression of smuggling activities, trade facilitation and provision of trade data for budgetary matters etc.
“NAGAFF will want Customs to understand that they are putting two much pressure on revenue collection functions and meeting up targets. This is not two good for trade in Nigeria because it is apparent that over assessment of imports is prevalent.
“What the customs must do is to enhance compliance and ensure proper customs examination of ladden containers imported into Nigeria. This is simple and straightforward to ensure appropriate customs duty collection.
“To think out of the box the Nigeria customs service should profile big time importers and encourage them to diversify into manufacturing. In so doing export shall evolve and excise duty will be collected. This is aside of the foreign exchange earned from export and creation of employment. Customs is the epi center of nations economy”