Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), have enjoined businessmen to embrace the automated Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC), in a bid to stimulate trade, reduce the turnaround time in processing and facilitate the ease of doing business in the country.
The Finance Ministry and NCS made the made known in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at the weekend, during the third and last phase of a day sensitisation seminar.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, stated that the essence of the automation of IDEC was to standardize and simplify the processes for all papers, to eliminate bottlenecks and subjectivity, “thereby guaranteeing the ease of doing business and ultimately, making Nigeria a preferred destination for business environment.
Ahmed, who was represented by a Permanent Secretary in the Rivers State Ministry of Finance, Titiola Celine, posited that other objectives of IDEC automation is “to ensure effective monitoring, evaluation and tracking of physical incentives guaranteed items of their successful applications and results achieved”.
He noted that the automation will improve process efficiency, accountability by drastically reducing the turnaround time of processing the requests from 60 to 3 days.
Earlier in his goodwill message, the Comptroller General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (retd) represented by the Coordinator Zone C, of the Nigerian Customs South East and South-South, Assitant Comptroller General, ACG Elton Edorhe, had described the automated IDEC portal as a revolution in the industry.
Ali said that it would stimulate interest and galvanise critical stakeholders and key sectors of the Nigerian economy, insisting that the process would usher in the economy into a realm of possibilities.
Ali also noted that with the reduced turnaround time in the processing of requests due to the migration from anolague to digital, there would be job creation.
He enjoined the stakeholders not to loose hope on the process due to some teething problems, saying such would be a thing of the past in the shortest possible time.
Others at the occasion included Comptroller Yusuf Garba, the Area Comptroller, Customs Area1, Port Harcourt, Medaiyedu Stephen, Deputy Director, Tax Policy, who represented the Permanent Secretary, Aliyu Ahmed, of the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, who delivered the opening address, Abdulkadir Basheer.