The Nigerian Customs Service has revealed that it has cut the number of paperwork required for exporters to execute before exporting items. They have cut down the number of paper required before exporting from 17 t0 10.
The Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) made this claim saying that Customs has now attained a 75% automation level while cutting down inspection hours of imported items and papers processing at ports and airports in line with the Federal Government’s ease business goals.
“If you have been following the trend of Ease of Doing Business initiated by the Vice President, the Customs is key to that. We have reduced the hours of inspection and physical examination; we have also reduced paper processing from 17 to 10 by as much as 25%”
This claim is yet to be independently verified. Experience suggests, most times rather than actually cut down paperwork, Government officials merge some paper work technically resulting in no significant improvement in ease of doing business.
The reduction in paperwork will be beneficial to the Customs in several ways. There will be a huge drop in recurrent spending on paper, as less paper is needed. The costs savings can then be channeled to other useful areas. The decrease in transaction time will mean a quicker turn around of goods at the port, which will encourage business people to bring in more goods at the ports. Several importers prior to this, had preferred using neighbouring ports due to quicker turn around time.
Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbanjo last week signed three Executive Orders regarding the ease of doing business in the country. Among the orders are the promotion of transparency and efficiency in the business environment
Col. Ali had recently clashed with the Senate over his refusal to wear a uniform when he appeared before them. While the Senate insisted that he must wear the uniform, the CG maintained his stance citing his retirement from the army and a pending case relating to the issue in court.