The President of the Shippers’ Association Lagos State (SALST), Mr. Jonathan Nicol who made the call in Lagos argued that that the 7 percent of all import duties collected by NCS was enough to sustain its services at the ports.
The Federal Government had in December 2013 directed the NCS to take over the Destination Inspection (DI) scheme from the three service providers namely, SGS, Cotecna and Global Scansystems.
Nicol explained that the large chunk of our shippers capital which goes into the 1 per cent CISS charges would have been affected and business cannot continue like this without a change.
His words: “If they (NCS) receive seven per cent of the total import duties, you know the outcome is enormous for a government parastatal. I do not think that any other government parastatal has such kind of incentive”.
Nicol said the seven per cent was enough to equip NCS adequately and “if they are not using the facility of the seven per cent, that fund should be paid back into coffers of the government.”
According him, initially, government contracted private service providers and levied the Nigerian shippers to pay the 1 per cent CISS charges.
He revealed that between January and November 2013, shippers paid N29.7 billion to the service providers, covering the CISS charges, from their own (shippers) pockets.
Said he: “Ordinarily, we expect the customs service to sympathies with the plight of the Nigerian shippers whose efforts gave them the privileged position that they are now. We are of the opinion that if necessary, the 1 percent CISS should be paid to customs from the federation account and not from the pockets of the Nigerian shippers.
“If the service is incapable of absorbing maintenance fees (of the scanners), which we consider to be part and parcel of destination inspection, it should honourably hand over that aspect of its profession to private bodies”.
– This Day