NECA accuses Customs of killing businesses

hameed ali

Hameed Ali, Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service.

 

The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has condemned the “incessant obstruction” caused by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), stating that the situation is hindering the Ease of Doing Business policy of the Federal Government.

NECA Director-General, Timothy Olawale, said in a statement on Monday that some businesses were going down due to the actions of Customs officers and men.

Olawale lamented that Customs operatives obstruct legitimate businesses through inconsistent and arbitrary tariff classification, excessive and unfriendly duty rate on key raw materials that have no local substitute.

He noted that other blockages by Customs include improper valuation of consignments and reckless interception of containers after legitimate clearance, among others.

“The world economy is on the precipice with nations doing all that is necessary to keep their productive sector going. Recent incessant issues with the Nigeria Customs Service have become worrisome as it has the potential to push businesses off the cliff,” the NECA DG said.

Olawale said Customs officers’ attitude would fast-track the demise of more enterprises and exacerbate the current unemployment situation in Nigeria, noting that while the NCS is desirous of meeting its revenue target, it should not be at the expense of legitimate businesses.

“With the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) coming into effect Jan. 1, 2021, these recurring issues will only destroy Nigerian businesses. It will also make importation of manufactured goods more attractive with grave consequences for Nigeria,” he stated.

Olawale further asked the Federal Government to call NCS to order.