REMARKS BY HAJIYA SARATU IYA ALIYU, NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF THE NIGERIAN ASSOCIATION OF CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE, INDUSTRY, MINES AND
AGRICULTURE (NACCIMA) DURING THE COURTESY CALL TO THE NIGERIA
CUSTOMS SERVICE ON FRIDAY 31ST JANUARY 2020
First let me thank you for finding time to receive us today in the midst of your very busy schedule. We made several efforts to have this meeting last year without
success. So, we are glad, it is now taking place today.
I am very delighted, as the
National President of NACCIMA to lead a high profile team, made up of members of the Council and National Executive of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) to your office and to engage with you in your capacity as the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service.
Please permit me to use this opportunity to place on record our appreciation for the work of the Nigeria Customs Service under your inspirational leadership. The
effectiveness and success of the Customs Service is reflected on several fronts including the steady increase in revenue collections that exceeded the revenue target and the unrelenting fight against smuggling.
We have also taken due note of the
impressive score card in other areas including trade facilitation and the timely release of Cargo. In spite of these, we are aware and conscious of the challenges facing the Service in carrying out its mandate and functions.
We commend your efforts at raising awareness through your regular TV programme, which is very educative and revealing. Indeed the very laudable activities of the Customs Service is made known to us through our representative on the Board, Ide
John C. Udeagbala, the 1st Deputy National President of NACCIMA, especially your efforts to ensure that the Men and Women of the Service perform their functions at their various locations across the country.
We look forward to working closely and strengthening the cooperation that exists between the Nigeria Customs Services and NACCIMA to ensure that the Service continues to fulfil its role as a driver of economic growth and development.
Sir, as you are aware, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 lays out very specific programmes and activities with regards to the Nigeria Customs Service to accelerate non-oil revenue generation. Some of these activities are:
To accelerate the transformation and modernization of the Nigerian Custom
Service through a 2-3 year strategic plan
● To deploy technological tools to enhance collections
● To introduce a single window to drive customs efficiencies
● To implement efficiency programmes for terminals and cargo clearance (for
example, using lean techniques to speed up vessel and cargo handling), and
● To increase port efficiency by issuing more licences to build up terminals in
Against this background, we would like to use this opportunity to bring to your kind attention a few critical issues that are germane to the successful implementation of the ERGP as it pertains to the Nigeria Customs Service.
NACCIMA is the sole body authorized to issue Certificate of Origin, however, we
contend with a rash of fake versions which are evident in the discrepancy between the data captured by NACCIMA with regards to exports and that of the National Statistics. This situation leads to uncertainty in export business planning and development. We are hereby seeking for a closer cooperation with the Service, to ensure that NACCIMA’s national assignment in this regard is not undermined. There is
therefore the need for a stronger collaboration with the Customs formations at the Ports and other relevant locations to put a stop to the use of fake Certificates of Origin
by exporters. We will be grateful if relevant actions are taken in this regard, to ensure that authentic Certificates of Origin are utilized for the purpose of export trade.
To us in NACCIMA, this will be a concrete demonstration of collaboration between the Nigeria Customs Services and NACCIMA.
Furthermore, the issue of interception on the road and highways, of imported cargo consignments being taken to their final destinations after due clearance from the Port is also of concern. In recent past we have received complaints from some of our members that after due clearance of their goods from the ports, some officers still intercept these goods on highways for various excuses. We are of the view this approach is counterproductive to trade facilitation and ease of doing business. This is
an area which deserves attention. There are other areas which deserve attention such as the border closure due to its mixed results for the economy. We must find a lasting and enduring solution to the challenge of our porous borders. This would require more regular engagements between us for satisfactory and lasting solution.
Finally, we believe the inclusion of relevant NACCIMA activities, such as the issuance of Certificates of Origin, in the National Single Window, will further improve the ease of doing business when it comes to trading across borders.
Once again, we appreciate this audience. We wish to re-emphasize our Association’s readiness to continue to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service as a critical formation in our quest to promote trade and commerce for Sustainable Economic growth and development of our dear nation.
Thank you and God bless you.
HAJIA SARATU IYA ALIYU
National President, NACCIMA
Chairman, Organised Private Sector in Nigeria (OPSN)
President, Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI)