Agents threaten to shut ports over Customs duty hike

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has threatened to shut down the nation’s seaports over the recent double hikes in customs duty.

President of the association, AlhajiOlayiwolaShittu, said this on Thursday in Lagos.

Shittu said that the association condemned in totality the monetary policy that led to the collapse of the maritime industry.

He frowned at the import regime of fixing the foreign exchange rate at N331 to the dollar.

“There should have been a deliberate effort to save Nigerian importers from the debilitating effect of fixing the foreign exchange in calculating the import duty,” Shittu said.

He noted that it was condemnable to force Nigerians to open Form ‘M’ for imports at N197 to the dollar only to force them to pay N331 after the goods had been shipped.

“Governments all over the world make conscious efforts to protect the interest of their citizens,” he said.

“We are calling for a National Executive Council meeting of our association where a date will be announced for total withdrawal of our services”, Shittu said.

On the scramble by some agencies to return to the ports, Shittu said this was not unexpected because the regulatory agencies were too weak.

He said the regulatory bodies were more interested in creating “toll gates” so as to extort port users.

He urged the National Assembly to be up and doing in their oversight functions and check the activities of government agencies at the port.

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