The President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Amiwero, has alleged that 40 per cent of payments made at the nation’s ports are unreceipted.
Amiwero said, on Thursday, in Lagos, that port operators had various ways of collecting illegal fees, thereby, making the cost of doing business in Nigerian ports very high.
The customs agent said that the unwholesome payments were partly responsible for the high cost of goods in Nigerian markets.
“Somebody imports a cargo and at the point of clearing, he or she is made to make payments which are not official.
“Do not forget that an importer is not running a charity outfit; he is in business to make profit.
“Therefore, he transfers the bulk of the taxes he incurred to the end users,’’ Amiwero said.
According to him, unless such unwholesome payments are checked, the Nigerian ports will continue to be expensive and non-competitive when compared to ports in neighbouring countries.
He called on maritime regulatory bodies to eliminate the practice in order to boost Nigerian ports’ cargo throughput.
Amiwero said the ports of Lome and Cotonou were taking the advantage of the situation and had become transit ports for cargo destined for Nigeria. (NAN)