‘Govt policies chasing shippers out of Nigeria’

The President, Shippers Association Lagos State (SALS), Rev. Jonathan Nicol has said the Federal Government’s fiscal policy on imported items is sending shippers away from Nigeria to neighbouring countries especially the Republic of Benin.

Speaking yesterday with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, he said, “Everything we say about people moving from Nigeria to other countries is true. A lot of money has gone out of the country; the government should change the tariff policy to be friendly.

“Also, the documentation process is increasingly high with a long process that should be narrow and shippers should be allowed to clear their goods within 48 hours.

“We can clear our goods in less than six hours if everyone wants to work.

He said his association fully identifies with the views of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on the high cost of doing business in the country.

“If they are complaining, we are also complaining, we want our industry to succeed, we want Nigerians to have jobs.

“The government must put everything in place for industry to succeed, environments must be conducive for them to succeed.”

Nicol also complained about the incessant query of already generated Pre-Arrival Assessment Reports (PAAR) by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service.

He said, “There are pockets of query here and there on PAAR from Customs, we want a situation where customs officers would respect documents issued by the service.

“When you give people what you call assessment from the desk of the Nigeria Customs Service, we do not expect that same Customs to query that same document.”

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