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Freight forwarders lament delay in customs license renewal

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—-call for automation of system
Segun Oladipupo

Critical stakeholders in clearing subsector of the maritime industry have called on the Federal Ministry of Finance to digitalise the renewal of clearing license of freight forwarders to avoid unnecessary delay and the cumbersome process involved.

The stakeholders under the  aegis of Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders, Importers and Exporters Coalition (SNFFIEC) also lamented the long process involved in obtaining the license

The clearing license is usually issued by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and renewed annually.

National Coordinator of the group, Chief Patrick Ositachukwu while speaking with journalists in his office on Friday, lamented the delay occasioned by the manual process.

He maintained that electronic issuance and renewal of licenses is the order of the day in other sector even as he wondered why such could not be inculcated in the customs licensing process.

“This is a clarion call to the CG of Customs and the Federal Ministry of Finance to understand that if automation in license renewal and procurement in vehicles and insurance, it is tenable, why would it not work in Customs licensing.

“DPR and others have gone automated and it lasts for two years.

“I want them to look at it and see how they can salvage the situation because it is so critical that if you pay money for renewal now, it will take up to four or five months before you get it and during the period, you cannot use the license.

“Before you apply for linking or password, it will take months again. I see this as something that is very vital and should be inculcated in our system and would help improve on the manual system.

“The cost of renewing a license is over two hundred and fifty thousand naira and obtaining a new license is over five hundred thousand naira payable aside the unreceipted fees that you will have to pay,” he stated.

© 2021, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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