Aminat Isah, Abuja
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) says it would in synergy with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and other relevant agencies at the port to improved compliance to procedures that would reduce delays and boost revenue generation.
Executive Secretary of NSC, Barr. Hassan Bello, stated this when he paid a courtesy call on the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.) in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the NSC would assist the NCS in achieving above its N1.6trillion revenue target in 2020 through the introduction of a single-window platform.
Accordingtohim, “E-Customs is the appropriate technology that will gladden the hearts of many. In no time, if there is synergy among the regulators, Customs, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Shippers’ Council and others, there will be a lot of compliance.
“We represent the shippers but we also know that compliance is a serious problem. If all the shippers would comply, then, there won’t be delays. Delay is occasioned by persistent failure to comply, and this is sometimes deliberate.
“It is to avoid the tax or customs duty that has really caused low compliance, and that is what we are really going to focus on this year, to work with Customs to see that if you comply your goods will be out; nobody will stop your good.
“The target, as we heard, is for you to generate about N1.6trillion and you’ve already said you’re going to generate N2trillion. We are here to assist you in generating even more than the N2trillion.”
The Shippers’ Council boss applauded the NCS’ performance on Ali’s watch and said, “With the temporary closure of Nigerian borders, Nigerians have seen the relevance of NCS to the economy. It has brought international acknowledgement of the integrity and honesty displayed by the Customs boss.
“I think Nigerians have seen the relevance of Customs to the economy of this country. Your honesty, integrity is well known and internationally acknowledged. And that also goes to the economy. We must have disciplined people as heads of our various agencies and institutions”, he added.
Responding, the NCS boss, Hameed Ali said that NCS was ready to collaborate with the Shippers’ Council to sensitize stakeholders on the importance of compliance which had become Nigeria’s biggest problem in terms of trade.
The Customs CG said: “We have the habit of wanting to shortchange the government and the system. Our mentality on compliance is zero.
“We must find a model for enforcing compliance. There must be sanctions. I think that is the only way to ensure compliance.
“A discourse on compliance will go a long way and we look forward to cooperating with you (NSC) to ensure that a forum is organised to make our people aware.”
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