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CBN goes tough on Shippers, Shipping companies over non-compliance with export procedures.

Chinazor Megbolu   |   
The Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) has threatened to sanction any shipping company that  fails to ensure all shipping documents carry NXP number.
The directive, given by the Federal Government,was to audit shipping companies and keep a tab on all exports.
Godwin Emefiele, the CBN Governor, at a virtual meeting with the shippers, shipping companies and Nigerian Shippers’ Council, expressed Government displeasure over  non-compliance of shipping companies with the directive.
However,the Nigeria Shippers’Council (NSC) has said it will partner with other government agencies towards making shipping firms in the country comply with the Nigerian Export Proceeds (NXP) numbers as directed by the Federal Government.
In a statement signed and issued on Wednesday by the Head, Public Relations, NSC, Ms. Rakiya Zubairu, the agency said  the action became necessary due to failure by the shipping lines to comply with the directive.
The statement noted that the issue was the focus of discussions during a recent meeting organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
It also added the directive was to ensure that all shipping documents carry the NXP number, which they discovered that several shipping firms were  not complying with which will  henceforth attract strict sanction.
During the virtual meeting, Emefiele noted that they were going to set up an auto system, where if someone wants to send cargo, copies of the NXP form will be sent directly to the person.
“So that if you don’t have it on line on your system that the NXP has been registered, you turn back that cargo. You cannot accept any number and use it as a basis for shipping”.
“We are not going to allow that. That is not acceptable. If you don’t see NXP Forms, that cargo should be turned back,” Emefiele said.
The CBN Governor used the virtual meeting as an opportunity to enquire as to why the shipping companies were not complying with the federal government directive  regarding the NXP..
Meanwhile, the Managing Director, MSC Nigeria Limited, Mr. Andrew Lynch in his reaction, said his company received NXP forms on all major agro commodities like cashew, cocoa and sesame, but not for commodities like charcoal and timber.
“We found out that these items do not have NXP forms after they have already arrived at the port and once cargo gets to the port and has gotten clearance from the Nigerian Customs Services (NCS), there is pressure, due to space constraints at the port, to ship immediately,” he said.
Lynch buttressed further that one of the challenges  also faced was in their inability to verify the authenticity of an NXP Form.
Moreover, the Managing Director, Grimaldi Nigeria Limited, Mr. Ascanio Russo in his submission noted  that in addition to not being able to verify the authenticity of the NXP Form, his organisation was unable to access CBN online portal.
However, the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, NSC, Barrister Hassan Bello noted the agency is in partnership with the CBN and has carried out three awareness creation meetings in Lagos State and Port Harcourt, Rivers State towards educating the shipping companies and exporters on the need to implement the directive on the NXP.
He explained that the NSC would work with other agencies of government to ensure shipping firms comply with the NXP directive in full.

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