95% of im­porters un­der-de­clare goods – Cus­toms boss

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Ab­dul­la­teef Aliyu, La­gos

The Comp­trol­ler-Gen­eral of Nige­ria Cus­toms Ser­vice (NCS), re­tired Col. Hameed Ali, has de­scribed lack of trust by im­porters and traders as the ma­jor bot­tle­neck in fast-track­ing the clear­ing of goods in the ports.

He said cus­toms less than im­porters sta­tis­tics by the in­di­cated that five per cent of pro­cessed their con­sign­ments with gen­uine in­voices, say­ing the ten­dency for false dec­la­ra­tion had ham­pered cus­toms’ re­solve to in­sti­tu­tion­alise a fast-track­ing sys­tem in line with the World Trade Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WTO) stip­u­la­tion.

This, ac­cord­ing to him, also ex­plains why the NCS in­sists on 100 per cent phys­i­cal as­sess­ment of goods im­ported into the coun­try.

The Cus­toms boss spoke in La­gos dur­ing an in­ter­ac­tive ses­sion with mem­bers of the Man­u­fac­tur­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (MAN) as part of the pro­gramme herald­ing the sec­ond edi­tion of MAN’s an­nual lec­ture.

Ali, who in­ter­acted with man­u­fac­tur­ers from across the coun­try who con­verged at La­gos Oriental Ho­tel on Wed­nes­day evening, how­ever, stated that MAN mem­bers were im­port-com­pli­ant ex­cept for a few whom he vowed to re­port to the MAN’s lead­er­ship.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the preva­lence of false dec­la­ra­tion was part of the rea­son why 1,100 pump ac­tion ri­fles con­cealed un­der the name of wash-hand basins could find their way into the coun­try.

He said the guns would have been un­leashed on the na­tion if the cus­toms had over­looked the con­sign­ment and failed to carry out phys­i­cal in­spec­tion.

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