CBN reads the riot act to shipping companies
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has flayed the non-compliance of shipping lines to the directive by the Federal Government that all export goods leaving the country should carry Nigerian Export Proceeds (NXP).
Chairing a virtual meeting with stakeholders, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said an audit by the apex bank revealed that several shipping companies were wanting, adding that the non-compliance would attract strict sanctions.
Addressing the shipping lines, Emefiele said: “We are going to set up an auto system, where if someone wants to send cargo, copies of the NXP form will be sent directly to you. So, if you don’t have it online on your system that the NXP has been registered, you will have to turn back that cargo.
“You cannot accept any number and use it as a basis for shipping. We are not going to allow that. That is not acceptable. If you don’t see NXP Forms, that cargo should be turned back.”
Speaking on the issue, the Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, said the Council in partnership with the CBN had carried out three sensitization meetings in Lagos and Port Harcourt, to educate shipping companies and exporters on the need to implement the directive on the NXP.
Bello added that the NSC would work with other agencies of government to ensure full compliance, so that export without the NXP is discontinued.
The virtual meeting, which was attended by some representatives of shipping lines in Nigeria, was also an opportunity for the CBN Governor to ask why the companies were not complying with the Federal Government’s directive and some of their challenges regarding the NXP.
Responding, the Managing Director, MSC Nigeria Limited, Andrew Lynch, said his company receives NXP forms on all major agro commodities like cashew, cocoa, and sesame, but not for commodities like charcoal and timber.
According to him, they found out that some of the items do not have NXP forms after they have already arrived at the port, and once the cargo gets to the port and has gotten clearance from the Nigerian Customs Services, there is pressure due to space constraints at the port to ship immediately.
He added that one of their challenges also lies in their inability to verify the authenticity of an NXP form.
The Managing Director, Grimaldi Nigeria Limited, Ascanio Russo, said in addition to not being able to verify the authenticity of the NXP form, his company is unable to access CBN’s online portal.
Emefiele said a circular outlining the procedure would be sent out to shipping lines and relevant agencies like the NSC, Ministry of Finance, Nigerian Customs Services, and security agencies among others.