By Ajibola Abayomi,
June 20, 2018.
The National President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Amiwero has explained how Nigeria’s s poor trade ranking could be reversed.
This, he disclosed this while expressing concern over the challenges encountered on the process of import, export and transit regulatory procedure that affected Nigeria ranking in trading across borders on Ease of Doing Business.
Trading Across Borders (TAB) on Ease of Doing Business, ranked Nigeria 183 out of 190 countries within the Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ease of doing Business covers 11 areas of business regulation of 190 counties and TAB is one of the core measured on time and cost on procedural requirements for import, export and the shipment of goods.
Amiwero spoke on the ranking in a letter he addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari and copied the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
He noted the ranking was a fallout of time and the cost associated with three set of requirements (a) Documentary compliance (b) Border compliance (c) Domestic Transport that allowed for comparability across all 190 counties, based on the scores of eight indicators as assessed by the global body, which ranked Nigeria 183 out of 190 countries.
According to him, Nigeria’s import, export, regulatory and transit procedures, was encountered with lengthy, cumbersome procedures that was associated with unnecessary delays, high transaction cost and increase of cargo dwell time, which made her port the most expensive in the globe based on verifiable information.
The NCMDLCA boss said that the process of multiple alerts should be harmonized and complied with international best practice on a One-stop-Shop as contained in WCO revised Kyoto Convention that compelled contracting parties to harmonize and simplified their procedure to remove complexities.
He said that out that the Federal Operation Unit (FOU) of the Nigeria Customs Service should be streamlined and concentrated on the Anti-smuggling activities 40 miles radius from the port in line with its formation.
Amiwero advised that all import process should be conducted in the port as One-stop-shop process and eliminates the double examination, delays, demurrage and the offloading of goods at the Federal Operation, which he said amounted to additional cost to the importer and customs agents.
On the unwholesome practice of shipping companies and terminal operators and charges not tied to service, he argued that the owners of the ships allowed the unwholesome practice that necessitated the high demurrage, rent payment and the duplicated charges by shipping companies and terminal operators, which allowed them to increase on demurrage and rent at will.
He noted that the reform on import, export, regulatory and transit procedures was to implement an integrated set policies and procedures that was globally accepted, which he said would ensure effective trade facilitation by the reduction of transaction cost, cargo dwell time and ensure safety and security of processes.
“Nigeria ranking in trading Across Borders on Ease of doing business is 183, Ghana 158, Togo 121, Benin 136, Chad 17 and Niger 122.
“The poor rating of Nigeria can be seen from the identified challenges associated with the import-export, regulatory and transit procedures that is encumbered with lengthy and cumbersome procedure, which resulted to our present ranking of 183 from 190 countries.
“There is the urgent need to constitute a committee of trade procedure experts, reform specialist and professional, as taskforce to address the challenges urgently”, he said.