The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) on Friday petitioned the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over delays in the issuance of Form `M” by banks.
The National Publicity Secretary of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto disclosed this to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in Lagos.
He said that a letter of complaint had been dispatched to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stating the position of the association on the matter.
Importers of goods into Nigeria are required to open and process Form `M’ through an authorised dealer bank.
Farinto said the President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, on Thursday after the Association’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, directed that a letter be written to the apex bank.
He said the inability to quickly process Form `M’ could lead to the diversion of cargo to neighbouring countries, adding that over 1,000 of such forms had yet to be processed.
Farinto said that both agents of importers and exporters were having difficulties presently as a result of delays in getting the Form `M’.
“If shippers find it difficult to open Form`M’ for incoming cargo, they may consider diverting their cargo but we will not encourage them to patronise the neighbouring countries,” he said.
Farinto said the processing of `Form M’ through the CBN was not the normal procedure, adding that the delays in the process had affected cargo clearance at the ports.
The association also debunked a news report that it had endorsed an officer from the South West to replace the Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi.
“ANLCA is a professional body of customs brokers in Nigeria and is apolitical.
“The appointment of the CGC is the responsibility of the Commander-In-Chief and the President of Nigeria.
“If the story that is filtering through the industry is true on Abdullahi’s resignation, on behalf of ANLCA, we wish him all the best,” Farinto said.
He said that Abdullahi was a quintessential Customs Officer, adding that “he came, he saw and he conquered”.
Farinto said that Abdullahi was leaving the Customs better than he met it and with his idea of modernisation of the service, it is now highly respected in the ECOWAS sub-region.
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