The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has hailed President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the strides he has made since his inauguration on May 29, 2023.
While congratulating him for his successful inauguration, the association in a statement issued by its founder, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, hailed Tinubu for the courage he displayed by removing oil subsidy and the sack of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
According to NAGAFF, many Nigerians may not know the level of damage the former CBN governor has done to Nigeria’s foreign trade and customs facilitation in Nigeria. Emefiele other than concentrating on monetary policy and implementation dabbled into trade policies of the finance ministry.
It noted that the most disturbing was that he became so arrogant and Mr. know it all to the extent that he did not bother to consult the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) before churning out fiscal policies trade matters.
The association stated that for the avoidance of doubts, he delisted well over forty one trade goods from accessing forex market.
“Unfortunately his action created so many problems for Customs administration and management of international trade. In a situation where every import into Nigeria must have a registered form M, this man did not know that relevant sections of Customs laws provided for clearance of improper documentation.
“Ordinarily the introduction of Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) is expected to be sacrosanct but the action of Emefiele destroyed the programme thus forcing the Customs to declare pre arrival assessment report as being advisory. This is where Customs problem started in duty collection and accounting. Instances of untrue declaration for Customs purposes became the order of the day. This is because those items barred from accessing forex are not banned from importation. And to resolve this, Customs have to rely on the provisions of Customs laws to mitigate the bad situation”, it added.
The association expressed hope that Mr. President shall as a matter of urgency repeal that piece of unguided trade policy to enhance revenue collection functions of the service.
Continuing, NAGAFF said: “This avoidable revenue leakage must be blocked immediately and allow Customs to top their reform responsibility. We may in due course make further statements and help the government to raise the bar of revenue collection and accounting in the Customs ports and approved border stations. Also, we shall within the week recommend one or two names of competent core officers of the service with capacity and required skills to take responsibility in the Nigeria Customs Service and transportation ministry. Whoever is coming to transportation ministry, should by our recommendation, must be a seasoned professional other than politician”.
It expressed regret that all the past ministers of transportation in the last sixteen years did not realise the importance of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
It maintained that they are merely interested in the collection of port operating fees.
“Finally, we also congratulate the wise men and women of the 9th assembly who have made it possible through legislation for only well trained and informed officers of the service to be appointed as the comptroller General of customs”, it added.