Customs revenue drive killing Nigeria’s economy, says expert
The revenue drive of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has been described as a major setback to the nation’s economy.
An industry expert and President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Eyis Amiwero, bemoaned the Customs for setting revenue target across its commands, noting that it is against trade facilitation.
Amiwero said aggressive collection of revenue is a disservice to development of industries in the country. He, therefore, called for complete reform of the Nigeria Customs Service.
“Customs is to promote trade and not to collect revenue. Customs must be reformed. If we do not reform it, we cannot reform the economy,” he said.
Amiwero observed that although its interventions have worked positively for the nation over the years, the industry is still in shambles due to lack of political-will by Nigerian leaders.
He noted that the industry is currently lacking very important regulations, as the major agencies of government are lacking definite laws and clear-cut responsibilities.
“Nigeria should incorporate a proper port system. We need a law that will properly define NPA’s role. For now, NPA’s law is not well defined and it is unfortunate, we are putting together a system that is negative to growth. Currently two laws are missing. That of the NPA and NSC,” he said.
Evaluating Nigeria at 61, Amiwero said maritime sector scored zero in performance, saying that government has neglected a lot of things that could have liberated the sector.
He said: “The confusion in the ports is shaking the nation’s economy. We politicise everything at the expense of our economy. People in authority are just using the port to make money for themselves,” he alleged.