The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on the Federal Government to create an Independent Appeal Mechanism to settle disputes between the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the business community.
This was disclosed by the Director-General of LCCI, Dr Muda Yusuf, in a statement on Sunday in Lagos. The commerce boss said that a resolution framework was needed as Nigeria prepared to join the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“The LCCI calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene by setting up an Independent Appeal Mechanism to deal with issues of valuation and HS classification between the Nigeria Customs Service and the Business community.
“This could be done within the framework of an Executive Order as this is necessary to restore the confidence of investors in the international trade process,” he said.
Mr. Yusuf added that the necessity of the framework was to ensure a balance between regulatory controls, revenue generation and trade facilitation functions of the Nigeria Customs Service.
He stated that the Nigerian business community had been left in a situation where most had to pay outrageous additional charges on imports, which distorted their investment plans and projections.
“Indeed, the biggest corruption risks in the interface between the Customs and the business community are around these two issues.
“This situation is hurting investors across all sectors – Manufacturing, Agro-allied, ICT, Construction, Services etc,” he added.
He said the present climate between Customs and the Business community hurt foreign investment into the country and also put at risk potential investment in Nigeria, as it undermined economic diversification prospects, depressed capacity utilisation and limited the scope for job creation.
“It is also not consistent with the vision to make Nigeria a top investment destination,” he added.
What you should know
- Recall Nairametrics reported that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) had announced that it generated a revenue of N1.5 trillion for the year 2020, a rise compared to N1.3 trillion in 2019.
- The FG also announced the implementation of the reduction of import duty on vehicles and tractors from 35% to about 10%, which is a provision of the newly signed Finance Act 2020, introduced by the Federal Government as part of measures to ease the cost of transportation across the country and reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.