Following the Federal Government’s move to reopen the land borders for free flow of trading activities, Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma has called for the rejiging of unrealistic fiscal policies which often drive importers to neighbouring ports.
Uzodimma, who was former Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, also decried the multiplicity of Customs units at ports access roads and highways, adding that it was erroneous for Customs to seize consignments already cleared by its officers at the ports. The governor who was speaking during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), also called for a robust synergy between freight agents and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to dissipate challenges associated with cargo evacuation from ports and border posts.
According to him, this partnership would also foster the nation’s bid to diversify its economy and boost non-oil revenue with numerous potential from the maritime sector. His words: “Cotonou port is very busy because of some unrealistic fiscal policies in Nigeria. What is the essence of placing the import duty of cars at 35 per cent or more, when the country doesn’t produce cars? Isn’t it only reasonable for the government in Benin, Togo and other neighboring countries to peg their import duties at 5per cent to target Nigerian cargoes? “Nigerians don’t smuggle and research has shown that those involved in big time smuggling in the country aren’t Nigerians.