A key stakeholder in the Maritime sector in Nigeria and President, National Council of Managing Directors of Customs Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), has expressed worries that the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) directive on the Ease of doing Business initiative may fail if urgent steps are not taken to address the Import and Export system that is stunted and hindered by cumbersome and lengthy procedures.
This, he pointed out is the reasons why Nigeria continued to witness huge diversion of cargoes to neighboring countries, massive job loss and loss of revenues accruable to the country.
According to Amiwero, The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PBBEC) on Import and Export of the port system should urgently address the shortfalls in the sector which is militating against the import and export trade which has resulted to massive diversion of goods to neighboring ports.
Citing the breakdown scanners at the ports as a hindrance to trading across borders for ease of doing business initiative, he urged the PEBEC to look into the issue.
“The collapsed Scanners at the Port contributes to manual, laborious and costly cargoes inspection, Physical Inspection, with limitation and double handing to terminal operator, the Customs officers, and the Licensed Customs Agent who are at risk of unwholesome importation,” he said
This, he said is a serious threat to the Customs Officers who are compelled to conduct Physical examination in contravention of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Safe Frame Work
“Scanners are essential tools to aid Trading Across Borders and Reduce the illicit cross-border movement of unwholesome goods, which is prevalent today in our ports and border station” he added
He also highlighted that the lack of holding bay and trailer parks based on the lease and concession agreement to transporters is also a factor that will hamper the ease of doing business
“Holding bay and Trailer Park Facility is a core facility of the Trading Across Borders on Ease of Doing Business which is accommodated in the Cargo Delivery Charges as Vehicles Entry Permit(VEP) and Tenure Parking Rate (TPR) paid by Licensed Customs Agents on all transport entering the Port. There is the urgent need to provide the holding bay that has been paid for to reduce the gridlocks on the Port Access Road and aid the ease of doing business” he added