The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) on Monday observed that Customs operatives’ incessant obstructions, was already, seriously hindering the ease of doing business by the manufacturing companies.
Its Director-General, Mr Timothy Olawale indicated this in a statement, grieving that such act was jeopardising the Federal Government’s efforts at promoting ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Olawale said: “This is the time when all hands must be on deck to promote local enterprise competitiveness and prevent job losses.
“It is a known fact that the world economy is on the precipice with nations doing all that is necessary to keep their productive sector going.
“Recent incessant issues with the Nigeria Customs Service have become worrisome as it has the potential to push businesses off the cliff.
“This will fast-track the demise of more enterprises and exacerbating the current unemployment situation in Nigeria,” he said.
The director-general urged the Federal Government to call men of the customs services to order.
He said that Customs operatives were obstructing legitimate businesses through inconsistent and arbitrary tariff classification, excessive and unfriendly duty rate on key raw materials without local substitute.
Olawale said that other blockages include improper valuation of consignments and reckless interception of containers after legitimate clearance, among others.
He said: “While the Customs Service is desirous of meeting its revenue target, it should not be at the expense of legitimate businesses.
“With the Africa Continental Free Trade Area coming into effect Jan. 1, 2021, these recurring issues will only destroy Nigerian businesses.
“It will also make importation of manufactured goods more attractive with grave consequences for Nigeria and Nigerians as a whole.”