The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said that the current foreign exchange restriction policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has resulted in a staggering N230bn shortfall in anticipated revenue, in the last quarter of 2015.
The Comptroller General of Customs, retired Col. Hameed Ali confirmed this at the end of his recent week long working visit to Lagos and other operational areas in the South West part of the country at weekend; during which the CGC hosted and brainstormed with members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on issues of serious mutual concerns.
According to the Customs boss, the Service has subsequently forwarded a position paper to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, urging for a review of some policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Manufacturers had in the course of the forum identified certain militating impacts of the CBN’s policy, especially those relating to the banning of some items from accessing its Forex Allocation.
The CGC therefore stressed the need for a more encompassing approach involving a greater commitment to honest declaration and zero-tolerance for sharp practices.
Specifically, to formalize the unfolding laudable relationship, a joint Customs – MAN team was agreed to be set up to harmonize areas of conflict in a current draft Memorandum of Understanding, via Continuous engagement, honest declaration, training of Importers, even as a regular advocacy was recommended to address the issue of value and queries.
Other stakeholders at the parley enjoined the NCS to monitor its new Dispute Resolution Mechanism (DRM) and review it for modification if there are gaps in implementation.
National image maker of the Service, Deputy Comptroller, Wale Adeniyi who elaborated more on this commended the Manufacturers for what he described as their desire to fully cooperate with the CGC in his onerous task of safeguarding revenue on contentious declarations, adding that the forum was encouraging the Service to balance that out by availing importers the opportunity to use the Bond option to avoid heavy demurrage pending final resolution of such disputes.
“The forum noted the growing violation of Intellectual Property Rights of Nigerian Manufacturers resulting in the faking of their products by foreign companies and called for regular exchange of information, tracking of suspect cargo, in addition to advocating for stronger collaboration to address the issue of trade malpractices”, Adeniyi indicated further.
On the complaints over Export Expansion Grant, EEG, the Forum noted that its suspension was due to incessant abuse by some beneficiaries who indulged in racketeering and other vices, and recommended that since some companies played according to the rules, the on-going investigation should be encouraged, so as to work towards entrenching a better incentive mechanism for exporters.