Agent tasks FG on waivers

General Secretary, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Tin Can Island Chapter, David Kanikwu has asked the Federal Government to profile import duty waivers it granted over the years to determine their effect on the economy.

Speaking to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in his office yesterday, Kanikwu said the purpose of the waiver was to create employment, boost tourism and diversify the economy.

He said, “Over the years that government has been granting waivers, Customs have been meeting their revenue target. Also, we should know that no economy will grow without government granting waivers for some businessmen and women to create jobs.

“What the government should do is to profile the waivers granted and test them against the backdrop of why they are granted to the business owners to know if they are performing or not. This is how to look at a growing economy.

He advised the government to stop granting waivers to any organisation that has not impacted on the economy over time.

Also speaking on the Common External Tariff (CET), Kanikwu said policy inconsistency on the part of the Federal Government may have discouraged the Economic Community of West African Stats (ECOWAS) from implementing the treaty.

He said, “Policy summersaults often makes ECOWAS states run away from implementing the CET and if we have policy consistency they will key in. They are scared that if they key in today and tomorrow government reverses or decides to bring in a  policy that runs counter to the agreement they signed with them what will become of the economy of the states?

“The CET was supposed to reduce smuggling but Nigeria government misapplied the CET structure by believing in ban, restriction of import, putting high levies which make it more attractive for people to smuggle.

“When the government started rice policy, the other ECOWAS states stayed on 10 percent tariff and what do you see, it was smuggling and that showed why they may not be on the same page with Nigeria.”

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