The Shippers’ Association of Lagos State (SALS) has said that collection of unlawful levies by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is a hindrance to the realization of fair and equitable port pricing system in Nigeria.
President of the association, Reverend Jonathan Nicole, at a recent event held in Lagos said that fees such as “general purse, endorsement fee, customs examination fee, CIU fee, and enforcement fee” are unwarranted and as such illegal.
Nicole blamed the government for turning a blind eye to the collection of what he described as “iilegal tolls” by Customs and other port government agencies which he said discourages fair port pricing system in Nigeria
He said: “These are invisible transactions and are not receipted for. It is believed that about one third of the total revenue for government is assumed to have entered into private pockets. The Nigerian Government should be blamed for this. In order to get equitable port pricing all these illegal tolls in the Nigeria Customs formations must be dismantled.”
He also said that a Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) document once issued should be accepted as the final document for the determination of customs duties and not “subject to queries from junior field officers.”
Nicole charged the new economic port regulator, the Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC) to commence its duties effectively one of which is regulating the excessive charges within the nation’s port system.
“It is not going to be easy. You need to step on toes; please do so with factory boots for posterity sake,” Nicole urged the NSC.