Chairman, Igbo Maritime Forum, PTML chapter, Uchechukwu Aniekechukwu, has accused officers of the valuation unit of the PTML Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) of slowing down cargo clearance process at the command.
Speaking in a chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in Lagos, Aniekewukwu said agents operating at the command are faced with so many challenges on cargo clearance especially on value related issues.
He said after the formal and required process of obtaining value of an imported item, officers of the unit still demand that agent come back to do what he called ‘evaluation check’.
“What is obtainable in valuation procedure is that you come and they give you value for vehicle and you pay the duty, examine your goods. But here, they still require you to come back to the valuation seat to do what they call they call evaluation check. That is the new system that is obtainable in PTML port now. I do not know what gave impetus to that,” he said.
The development, according to him if allowed to continue unchecked will be hampering the 24 hours cargo clearance at the terminal.
“Under this system and the time it will take you to pay your duty and collect your value and do examination and then come back to valuation unit to do your clearance, we will never meet up with the 24 hours cargo clearance,” he said.
The chairman who also spoke on the federal government automotive policy said the government has not done enough with the suspension of the 35 percent levy on imported vehicles as agents are still battling with the payment of the 35 percent duty.
He said the policy has impacted negatively on the nation’s economy as volume of imported cars into the country has reduced drastically.
“We are still calling on the government never to think about the 35 percent levy of the National Automotive Council but to even bring down the cost of clearing tokunbo vehicles until we have plants that can solve the problem of vehicle importation totally because the policy has drastically reduce number of vehicles currently being imported in to the country,” he said.