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NAGAFF warns on impending collapse of Nigeria import business

The chairman of National Association of Government Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Murtala Muhammed Airport Ikeja, Segun Musa has accused the Nigerian Customs of mismanaging the ports across the country stating that their high import tariffs have led a lot of importers to close business in Nigeria in 2016.

Speaking in an interview in his office at the MMIA Ikeja, Musa declared that that following government’s policy, which he described as unfavourable and the manner the Nigeria customs officials go about it has led to poor relationship between importers and the customs

According to him, by the time importers relocate to other West African countries to pay duties, there will be loss of revenue in Nigeria and the ports will be redundant as there will be no activities going on in the shed.

Cargo shipment at a shed
Cargo shipment at a shed

“Customs officers mismanaged the ports, they have not brought to the table any meaningful policy that will actually drive the industry. Because they are saddled with the responsibility of checking revenue being collected by the freight forwarders, they actually mismanaged the ports”

“The revenue leakage is more than the revenue collected in Nigeria, the tariff on imports are so high and that has taken a lot of business out Nigeria”

“We have criticized the President Arrival Report that government should  not saddle the customs with issuance of that certificate but the customs came with all kinds of snow whiting discuss that they won’t be any query again when they start issuing the Certificate”

He called on the federal government to engage private sector in policy formulations in order to get things right stressing that importation was not responsible for the demise of some major industries in the country but as a result of bad roads, insecurity and poor power generation.

He explained that they will soon go into a regime of external tariff where every importer is at liberty to import goods and pay tariff anywhere in the world and go to the border to clear their goods without paying to customs.

“By the time importers start going to Ghana, Togo, Abidjan and Cotonou to pay duties, there will be loss of revenue here and our terminals will be turned into football field where they will be no activities going on in the shed. So, you can imagine how the Labour market will look like when about three million people will be thrown out of the market

He noted that Nigeria has the highest number of contraband goods all over the world adding that it was not in the interest of the nation.

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