Government to improve ease of doing business, reduce border checks
Customs intercepts prohibited drugs worth N242.6m
The Federal Government plans to improve the ease of doing business, as it strategises to reduce the cumbersome checks and balances that hinder trade facilitation at the seaports, airports and borders.
This is coming as the Nigerian Customs Service, Federal Operating Unit (FOU) zone ‘A’ Ikeja and the CG compliant team intercepted about 5,056 cartons of prohibited drugs that have Duty Paid Value of N242.6 million.
The Comptroller General of Customs (CG), Hameed Ali, on a working visit to Lagos yesterday, said the presidential committee is working to reduce the number of protocol from about nine to below six checks.
“In the maritime sector, we have so many protocols, checks and balances and I want to assure you that very soon, government will reduce those protocols.“We have a study that shows that Nigeria has the highest number of checks in terms of clearance of goods, I think it is not the best that we should have. As at the last count, we have about nine checks and our nearest boarders have about five or six checks, why can’t we also reduce it.”
Ali also assured that work is at advanced stage to float the single window platforms before the third quarter of this year.“The Presidency is planning a committee that will work on the establishment of single window. That I believe would come to fruition not too long from now, possibly in the second or third quarter of this year.
Ali, who paid visits to Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), was also at the FOU Ikeja to inspect the intercepted drugs said to be ‘dangerous for consumption.’The drugs include; Tramadol Hydrochloride Tablet 225mg/200 (about 3,845 cartons) and Really Extra (1,211 cartons).were seized at different locations at Idiroko, Sango Ota and on Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
He said investigations would unravel the importers and the involvement of customs personnel in the clearing of the consignment.The CG also said the customs would intensify its battle against smuggling and continue to prevent prohibited items from entering the Nigerian markets to safeguard the economy and health of Nigerians.
Ali said the bulk of Customs budget in 2017 would be spent on training of our officers, going by the fact things keep changing in the global world on daily basis.