28 August 2015, Lagos – Importers in Nigeria have called on the federal government to make a downward review of customs tariffs on cargoes imported into the country.
The importers under the aegis of the Shippers Association, Lagos State (SALS) maintained that a reduction in the customs tariff would also boost the economy.
President of SALS, Mr. Jonathan Nicol who stated this at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association, which took place in Lagos, said the federal government should not only reduce customs tariffs on cargo imported into the country but also reverse the annual revenue target given to Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) High Command.
In order to achieve the desires of the shippers, Nicol enjoined the government to enact laws that would simplify and ease the clearance of cargo from the ports within 24 hours at moderate charges.
He said: “If tariffs are reduced and Warri port facilities are rehabilitated, this would curb unrest in Warri and its environs. We believe that government can derive more revenue on all imports as employment opportunities will be opened and millions of Nigerians will benefit. Exports from Nigeria should attract zero per cent and facilities for receiving export cargo should be upgraded”.
The national carrier would be useful in facilitating and receiving export cargo. Refineries should be established across the South-South region to meet local fuel demands and exports. The federal government should protect Nigerian shippers to sustain their businesses.”
The SALS President stated that the United Nations (UN) had seen the challenges ahead of time and directed the establishment of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) primarily to checkmate the excesses of shipping lines and terminal operators.
Nicol said the NSC was also established to regulate the activities of stakeholders in the maritime sector of the economy.
In order to make the council deliver on its mandate, Nicol said SALS is also seeking for the transformation of NSC to Nigeria’s National Transport Commission as already mooted by some stakeholders in the maritime industry in the past.
– This Day