By Godwin Oritse
THE Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, NECA, has accused the Nigeria Customs Services, NCS, of the “frequent obstruction” caused by men and officers of the agency, a development, stating that the situation is hindering the Ease of Doing Business policy of the Federal Government.
In a statement, NECA’s Director-General, Timothy Olawale, said that some businesses were going down due to the actions of Customs officers.
Olawale expressed concern about Customs operatives obstructing legitimate businesses through inconsistent and arbitrary tariff classification, excessive and unfriendly duty rate on key raw materials that have no local substitute.
He noted that other blockages by Customs include improper valuation of consignments and reckless interception of containers after legitimate clearance, among others.
“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,” the NECA DG said.
Olawale said Customs officers’ attitude would fast-track the demise of more enterprises and exacerbate the current unemployment situation in Nigeria, noting that while the NCS is desirous of meeting its revenue target, it should not be at the expense of legitimate businesses.
“With the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, ACFTA, coming into effect January 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,” he stated. Olawale further asked the Federal Government to call NCS to order,” he added..