Deliberate attempts to evade correct duty payment has been identified as one of the major reasons why some importers patronize ports of neighbouring countries to ports in Nigeria.
Speaking at a recent television programme monitored by SHIPS &PORTS DAILY, Customs spokesman, Wale Adeniyi said since the port concession in 2006, the ports have witness significant improvement in areas of infrastructure and automation.
According to him, while there may be other genuine reasons, the ultimate goal of most of the importers is to smuggle their goods into the country.
“There are some people who deliberately patronize port of neighbouring countries. They don’t have any other reason apart from the fact that they want to evade correct payment of duties. That would be why they will prefer neighbouring ports.
“There is no reason why an importer will want to dump rice in large quantity in Republic of Benin where we know it is not consumed. The intention is to smuggle them.
“Since 2006, we have regimes of automation in our processes; it has taken less time to get things out of the ports. The same investors who are investing in our ports are same investors who are investing in neighbouring ports .The efforts to make our port more user friendly is a continuous process,” he said
Adeniyi noted that lack of a common ground on some trade issues between Nigeria and other West Africa countries is also another reason why importers prefer to bring in their goods through other ports.
“In West Africa, we are supposed to run the same Common External Tariff but for reasons best known to our neighbours, the francophone amongst them prefer to subscribe to the CET imposed on them by the economic grouping of the former French economies which is lower than what we charge and what we agreed with to be the CET. That is the bone of contention,” he said.
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