Aniebonam Praises FG For Lifting FOREX Ban On Importation Of Rice and 42 Other Items
By Jerry Aguigbo
Dr Boniface Aniebonam, Founder National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Nagaff, reacting over the lifting of forex ban on importation of rice and 42 items of traded goods by the federal government of Nigeria. Has commended President Bola Ahmed TInubu for this singular action, while he also gave kudos to the comptroller General of the Nigeria customs service, Comptroller Bashir Adewale Adeniyi. Aniebonam however came hard, with knocks on Godwin Emefiele, the erstwhile CBN governor for superintending the forex ban on these items.
According to him,
“It has become obvious that new hope for Nigeria has become a reality. This is because it is unthinkable that mr Godwin Emefiele other than facing his primary assignment of regulating monetary policy of Nigeria decided to dabble into fiscal policies trade matters. This man Emefiele indeed was a disaster to the economy of Nigeria. We strongly believe that his suffering is just started and we thank mr president for his popular decision to lift the ban on forex benefits on rice and the 42 items of trade goods
And for the customs we thank the past administration who were able to manage the human element barrier to trade which was caused mr Godwin Emefiele.
In his words,
“Many Nigerians may not really know the level of damage done to trade by the action of mr Godwin Ememiele . This man Emefiele mischievously and technically banned the importation of rice and the other 42 items of trade goods. This is because the trade policy of Nigeria is mandatory on all imports into Nigeria to undergo FORM M registration through the authorised commercial banks
He stated that,
It therefore conotes that the ban on form registration on rice importation and the 42 items were a straight ban on the items from being imported into Nigeria . Adding that Nigeria trading public must be very grateful and appreciative of the Nigeria customs to have found a way out to assist within tolerable limit thus relying on section 27 of customs and excise Management Act, as it were dwelling on improper documentation to act — Bill of sight under destination inspection trade policy of the government.
The freight forwarding Practitioners , shippers and indeed the trading community he said, will never forgive and forget the damage done to their investments by the avoidable actions of mr Godwin Ememiele seating as the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria.
Adding that, “for the customs administration we thank God for you by the relief of the government to have lifted the ban which shall enable you to continue with the ongoing customs modernisation. This is because the action of Emefiele striffled compliance level of the trading community in the customs ports and borders.
Aniebonam tasked the new Comptroller-General of Customs to consult with stakeholders.
“What the Cgc needed to do at the moment is stakeholders engagement, enhanced compliance and responsible partnership with the freight forwarding Practitioners.
” New hope for Nigeria in the area of customs control shall include collaboration with the council for the regulation of freight forwarding of Nigeria whose mandate is to control and regulate the practice of freight forwarding in Nigeria.
Continuing, he said, the new customs administration must understand that the modern day administration is about devolution of power and authority to enhance productivity. It therefore means that the zonal commands of the Nigeria customs service must be activated to play a major role in customs operations.
“The customs hqrs should be made to concentrate on policy issues, welfare of officers and men, training and retraining of officers, disciplinary measures, issuance of licences and permits , promotions , international relations and engagement etc.
He averred that Sitting at abuja hqrs and issuing trade alerts at the ports and borders may be anti trade facilitation and indeed a sign of distrust of the operational officers and systemic in corruption act.
“What is certain and indeed a fact is that customs duty assessment starts from the ships manifest submitted to the customs by the captain. Therefore the PAAR ruling center of the customs should attract the attention of the comptroller General of customs. PAAR ruling center should be made to perform their statutory responsibility as a risk management tool and facilitation of trade.
Nagaff as a responsible partner to the Nigeria customs service at this time and inline with new hope for Nigeria, it is our belief that the NCS must think out of the box. We are conversant and familiar with the statutory functions of the the customs which shall include but not limited to revenue collection and accounting, suppression of smuggling activities, trade facilitation and provision of trade data for budgetary matters etc.
Nagaff will want the Nigeria Customs Service to understand that they are putting two much pressure on revenue collection functions and meeting up targets. This is not too good for trade in Nigeria because it is apparent that over assessment of imports is prevalent.”
He opined that the Customs must enhance compliance and ensure proper customs examination of ladden containers imported into Nigeria. This according to him, is simple and straightforward to ensure appropriate customs duty collection.
In the same vein, he implored the NCS to think out of the box, the Nigeria customs service he said, should profile big time importers and encourage them to diversify into manufacturing. In so doing export shall evolve and excise duty will be collected. This is aside the foreign exchange earned from export and creation of employment. “Customs is the epi center of nations economy, he stated.