Segun Oladipupo |
The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has criticised the federal government’s annual target set for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The group said that revenue drive of the service has beclouded its crave for trade facilitation and national security.
President of ANLCA, Honourable Tony Nwabunike made the disclosure in Lagos on Wednesday.
He noted that the nation’s customs has been over stretched adding that a whole lot of challenges await the country at the commencement of AfCFTA except adequate measure are put in place to tackle infrastructural deficit.
Nwabunike reiterated that customs must be encouraged to continue in safeguarding Nigeria’s territorial boundaries and that trade facilitation and national security of the country should be the hallmark of the customs.
According to him, customs should be motivated by the executive and legislatives arms of government to champion the ease of doing business to measure up with the World Customs Organisation (WCO) standard.
He pointed out that government should provide a benchmark as a means to standardise tariff charges for operators and shippers, stating that Nigeria is the only country where customs is being given revenue target.
He said, ’Readily, Nigeria by virtue of her population and robust economy will be an attractive market from all kinds of goods under AFCFTA ,but care should be taken to avoid using Nigeria as dumping ground by other sister countries.
‘’Local manufacturers as well as farmers should be encouraged to export their goods and services by providing the enabling environment.
‘’Customs should be encouraged to continue to safeguard Nigerian territorial boundaries and trade facilitations, and security of goods in bound and out bound the country.
‘’Giving customs a target every year by the Federal Government of Nigeria should be discouraged, i strongly believe that the Nigeria Customs Service has been overstretched and Nigerians seeing them as not being friendly, a situation i sincerely believe should be revisited to allow the customs remain what they are suppose to be according to the standard of World Customs Organisation WCO.
‘’Ease of business initiated by the Federal Government must be adhered to the later, all bottlenecks in clearing of goods and services must be streamlined for the borderless trade of AFCFTA.
He also appealed to the government to provide a conducive environment for local manufacturers for them to compete favourably with other countries in the sub region.
‘’Ranging from infrastructural deficit like electricity, road networks, incentives to local manufacturers and farmers to multiplicity of government agencies as its affects trade and services.
‘’Also imperative is the attitudinal change of our importers and exporters must be a paramount issue to be frequently discussed at every fora” ,
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