The Tax Identification Number (TIN) introduced recently by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Nigeria Customs Service as a prerequisite for clearance of goods at the nation’s seaport is hampering the processing of consignments owned by private individuals.
A freight forwarder, Mr. Ugochukwu Nnadi, told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY yesterday that goods belonging to an elderly woman, whose son sent some items to from abroad, and a fresh university graduate, are now trapped at the port because of the wrong application of TIN.
Nnadi said: “TIN number is being requested before a document is processed whether it is an individual or cooperate organsation and we all know that it is only cooperate bodies that pay tax to the federal government while individuals pay to the state government. Not only that I have two problems on my table now, one is a 70-year-old woman in the village whose son sent her a car; we cannot process it because the system is requesting of TIN number from her ,and the other one is a student who came tops in her class and the brother also sent her a car, she can’t clear it because the system is asking for TIN number from her and we all know that these class of people are not supposed to have TIN numbers. For them to be asked to produce TIN number, we think is abnormal.”
Nnadi, who is also the Deputy National President, Logistics and Transportation of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), advised both the FIRS and the NCS to stop application of the TIN policy on individual consignees.
“At this primary stage let them start with cooperate organisations should be ask to produce TIN while the issue is being discussed while those that come in individual names should be cleared without TIN, pending the final determination of whatever problems or unforeseen circumstances that will impend the smooth operation,” he said.
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