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Employers’ group accuses Nigeria Customs Service of frustrating ease of doing business

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The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), has accused the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), of jeopardising Federal Government’s efforts at promoting ease of doing business in the country.

NECA accused the Service of creating recurring bottlenecks for legitimate businesses through inconsistent and arbitrary tariff classification, excessive and unfriendly duty rate on key raw materials without local substitute, improper valuation of consignments and continued interception of containers after legitimate clearance, among others.

These challenges, NECA said, are frustrating the ease of doing business for manufacturing companies. Director-General of NECA, Dr. Timothy Olawale, decried that these recurrent issues with the Customs have become worrisome, as they have the potential to pushing businesses off the cliff, thereby fast-tracking the collapse of more enterprises, and exacerbating the current unemployment situation in Nigeria.
   
While expressing concern at operational challenges faced by businesses, he noted that while the Service is desirous of meeting its revenue target, it should not be at the expense of legitimate businesses.

Following dwindling oil prices, and at a time when the nation needs all the investment it can attract, he said such bottlenecks will further make the nation to fall behind in investment destination rating.
 
Olawale added that with the AfCFTA coming into effect January 1, 2021, such issues will only destroy Nigerian businesses and make importation of manufactured goods more attractive with grave consequences for Nigerians and the economy as a whole.

 


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