The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), yesterday, said that the level of importation has dropped drastically by 50 percent as a result of high handedness by the present Nigeria Customs Service Management.
The association disclosed this during its Last National Executive Council (NEC) meeting for the year 2021, which held at ANLCA National Secretariat,
DIKKO INDE HOUSE, Amuwo Odofin-Lagos.
In his opening speech, the National President of the association, Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike expressed dissatisfaction by the recent jerk up of duty on 40 feet containers by the Customs to three million Naira which has worsened the hardship being experienced by importers at the nation’s ports.
He said there is urgent need for the members of the NEC to seek audience with the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Finance before things get out of hand.
According to Nwabunike, NEC should immediately call for the reorganization of the Nigeria Customs Management team to revamp the ailing economy.
He also advised the Federal Government to shop for a vast, trained seasoned officers to lead the Service out of the present quagmire.
“The 2021 World Bank Logistics Performance Index is a pointer to the fact that this present management team lacks idea, professional and technical knowledge to move our economy forward.
“Every developing nation like ours has continued to utilise the COVID-19 backlash positively to move their economy forward.
“We also insist that the management should give us the Standard Operating Procedure that will be used on implementation and operations of the newly acquired scanners before it is bastardized.
“We noticed the one released about few hours ago and our Policy and Strategic Committee is hereby mandated to study it and report back to the NECOM,” he added.
Hybrid News reports that the NEC meeting was attended by executive members of the Association from South East, South West, South South and South North Zones of the country.
In the words of Nwabunike: “You will recall that at the last NEC meeting, we reported many issues militating against Cargo Clearance in our Ports, which this NECOM has been facing frontally.
“We mentioned this issue at the last NEC meeting where we have been mandated to proceed to Abuja. NECOM led by myself went to defend the allegation of obstruction of duty levied against us by the management of the Nigeria Customs Service. We visited the National Assembly twice on this issue.”
Nwabunike further informed the NEC that there is possibility of terminal operators increasing their storages fees stating that the terminal operators have invited the association for a meeting.
“At the meeting, we were able to gather that, there has not been any increase in the last five years despite the fluctuation of the Naira and above all, it will interest you to know that the Federal Government has continued to collect their cargo throughout in Dollars.
“Meanwhile, government refuses to access them with official rate. The various concessionaires often sourced for the Dollars at the open market/black market to pay to the Federal Government.
“Members of NEC, the recent event where Customs has unilaterally jack up the value of 40 footer containers to three million Naira has vindicated us and we are all living witnesses to the aftermath of this.
“The NCS management team has shown with all her policies not to be a professional institution hence the ailing economy will continue to be in comatose.
“This is courtesy of her intention to only generate revenue, arm-twist Nigeria importers by slamming them with frivolous demand notices and arbitrary jack-up of pre-arrival, assessment reports (PAAR) indiscriminately.
“This negates all international and National Regulations like GAAT, Article VII and Valuation Act 20 of 2003, respectively” he added.