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Reps C’ttee gives Customs 2 weeks to reduce cargo clearing stages

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Nigeria Custom Logo
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The House of Representatives Committee on Customs has given the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) two weeks to reduce its 18 cargo clearing stages to four.

The committee made the resolution on Tuesday, in Abuja, after an interactive session with stakeholders.

It insisted that the Comptroller General of Customs should appear in person to explain the processes.

The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Leke Abejide (SDC-Kogi) said that the process should be limited to the offices of the Comptroller Area Commander (CAC), Deputy Comptroller Revenue (DCR), Officer in Charge of Bond and then Gate.

He said that all other stages should be removed to allow for free flow of activities in the ports, describing them as avenues for illegal transactions by corrupt officers of the service.

“Once it gets to the CAC, the CAC should minute it directly to the Deputy Comptroller Revenue, from there, it goes to Officer in Charge of Bond and then to the Gate for exit.

“We have to do something about this, let us bring down these procedures to four stages; somebody is getting revenue illegally, but if we do this, we will cut away all these illegalities and the revenue goes to government,’’ he said.

The chairman said that the committee would not work on the Custom’s 2022 budget, if provisions were not made to fix all the scanners in the ports.

He said that government had invested over $420 million dollars on the scanners and the committee would not allow such investment to go down the drain.

The Deputy Comptroller, Tariff and Trade, Mrs Talatu Isah, said that there was need to investigate the matter before taking action, saying that the procedure should not be that cumbersome.

She said that the service was working hard to ensure ease of doing business in the country and security by ensuring only approved goods got into the country.

The officer said that any dealer subjected to a cumbersome procedure to clear merchandise should report to the Comptroller Area Commander.

Earlier, the acting Managing Director, Nigerian Port Authority, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, said that Customs had multiple units within the same port, making the process cumbersome.

“After Customs finishes 100 percent examination, just when you think it is over, you load your container, you now find another Custom checkpoint within the same port.

“In the name of Federal Strike force or something and they leave the truck there for 30 minutes to one hour causing a lot of problems.

“And when you go out again, you find another Customs person and that is why Nigeria has lost the transit cargo market; what we now have is captive cargo, even some of the captive cargo is going somewhere else because of the cumbersome way things are done,’’ he said.

Bello-Koko said that some cargoes that should have gone to Niger and other countries through Nigeria went through other countries owing to multiple Customs and police check points between the country and Niger.

The Managing Director, Inland Container Nigeria Ltd, Mr Ismail Yussuf, also said that there were too many tables through which documents were processed, before cargoes go out of the ports.

He said that it should not be more than three, if the service scanners were activated at the port and electronic clearing system deployed.

He added that because Customs often changed procedures without prior notification of stakeholders, trying to adjust to such instant changes caused delays.

Yussuf said that the poor means of transportation out of the port was another challenge, stressing the need for road reconstruction and provision of other transport options. (NAN)

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Business & Economy

President Buhari transmits Business Facilitation bill to N’Assembly

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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The Senate has received the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2022, forwarded to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, for consideration and passage.

The bill was accompanied by a letter dated 17th June, 2022.

The letter, addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, was read during plenary on Tuesday.

President Buhari, in the letter, explained that the expeditious consideration and passage of the bill would promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

It reads, “Pursuant to Sections 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward herewith the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2022 for the kind consideration of the Senate.

“Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2022 seeks to promote the war of doing business in Nigeria by amending relevant legislation.

“While hoping that this submission will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the Senate, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

 

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Business & Economy

N5 trillion urgently needed to cushion effects double digits increase on ordinary Nigerians – World Bank

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The World Bank has warned that Nigeria could lose about N5trillion in 2022 from gasoline subsidies.

The bank also said that N5 trillion is urgently needed to cushion ordinary Nigerians from the crushing effect of double-digit increases in the cost of basic commodities.

The World Bank said in it Nigeria Development Update (NDU) released on Tuesday in Abuja.

The report said: “When we launched our previous Nigeria Development Update in November 2021, we estimated that Nigeria could stand to lose more than N3 trillion in revenues in 2022 because the proceeds from crude oil sales, instead of going to the federation account, would be used to cover the rising cost of gasoline subsidies that mostly benefit the rich”.

World Bank Country Director for Nigeria Shubham Chaudhuri, however noted: “Sadly, that projection turned out to be optimistic. With oil prices going up significantly, and with it, the price of imported gasoline, we now estimate that the foregone revenues as a result of gasoline subsidies will be closer to 5 trillion Naira in 2022.

“N5 trillion is urgently needed to cushion ordinary Nigerians from the crushing effect of double-digit increases in the cost of basic commodities, to invest in Nigeria’s children and youth, and in the infrastructure needed for private businesses small and large to flourish, grow and create jobs.”

The report noted: “Nigeria is in a paradoxical situation: growth prospects have improved compared to six months ago but inflationary and fiscal pressures have increased considerably, leaving the economy much more vulnerable”.

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Nigeria’s banking sector now immune to economic shock – NDIC

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Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has said that the banking sector is now immunized to withstand shocks that may impact the economy and the financial system.

Mr Bello Hassan, Managing Director of NDIC said this at a retreat for members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions with the NDIC, in Lagos.

Any change in fundamental macroeconomic variables or relationships that has a significant impact on macroeconomic outcomes and measures of economic performance, such as unemployment, consumption, and inflation, is referred to as an economic shock.

Mustapha Ibrahim, Executive Director (Operations), who represented the NDIC boss, said Nigerian banking industry was currently resilient to most of these difficulties, particularly external shocks over which the Corporation had no control.

He said: “We have tried to immunise the system to withstand shocks that may be impacting on the economy and the financial system”.

Hassan, further said that effective risk-based management remained critical to a safe and sound financial system.

“The NDIC and the Central Bank of Nigeria have a very robust supervisory framework under the risk-based supervisory format the risk-based approach is actually proactive. For the most part, we try to anticipate all these risks – Macro, micro, domestically and globally – to address them continuously.

“So, it is so dynamic that we also are constantly on a real-time basis, monitoring the industry continuously and fine-tuning our supervisory tools, both onsite and offsite, to mitigate some of the challenges the banks may be facing,” he said.

On his part, Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, said the retreat demonstrated progress in creating lasting and workable relationships in the national interest.

Sani, who was represented by Senator Olubunmi Adetunbi, was optimistic that the outcome will aid in the strengthening of the financial and banking sectors, particularly the corporation’s supervisory and regulatory role.

“The National Assembly and NDIC are key institutions critical to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy. While we provide the legal and institutional frameworks, NDIC carries out its regulatory or supervisory responsibilities in order to safeguard the banking sector.

“Engagement of this nature gives us the platform to deeply look into our activities and responsibilities and also examine how far we have gone in carrying out our mandate as required. It helps in injecting fresh ideas into our operations which will materialise into an improved, effective and efficient service delivery to Nigerians,” he said.

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