Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Abdulahi Inde Dikko, has said that the reluctance of importers and clearing agents to accept change which is manifested in lack of transparency and honesty in import and export declaration is one major factor militating against the facilitation of international trade.
Speaking yesterday at a stakeholder’s summit on ‘Enhacing Trade Facilitation through Sustainable Compliance’ organised by African Centre for Supply Chain and Multimix Export Academy, Dikko said the main reason for delays in clearance of goods at the port is incomplete documentation by agents.
“Once your documentation are complete and accurate, there is no reason whatsoever for anybody to have delays at the port. In the case of the newly introduced PAAR, there are instances whereby documents are uploaded by the bank and when they are complete and accurate, PAAR is issued in less than 20 minutes,” he said.
Represented by Comptroller Wesley Gambo, Dikko said delays in clearance of goods add to cost of doing business at the port thereby discouraging potential investors.
He pointed out that contrary to claims that the NCS focuses more on revenue generation; it is more committed to trade facilitation to maximize revenue generation.
“If you are talking of revenue, revenue, you are talking of the past but presently NCS is very interested in trade facilitation as much as it is interested in the revenue aspect. Trade facilitation improves customs productivity, increases government revenue and also help to improve volume of foreign trade,” he said.
He noted that in ensuring that import and export clearance procedures and processes are made simple and efficient, the NCS has developed and deployed trade facilitation tools part of which is automation of its system aimed at accelerating customs clearance and improving the economy of the country.
All these measures, according to the customs boss, are put in place to reduce the time it takes to clear cargo and lower the cost of doing business in Nigeria.