The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has laid the blame of under-declaration by importers and clearing agents at the doorstep of unfriendly government policies
This was the view of the Chairman, Tin Can Island Chapter of NAGAFF, Chief Azubuike Ekweozor during an interaction with newsmen shortly after he was conferred the Life Patron by the Ikorodu Chapter executives of NAGAFF.
According to Ekweozor, why many importers run around looking for how to cheat government was because of the unfriendly policies.
He however asked the Federal Government to look into the 41 items under restriction especially removing rice and tomato paste from the list of 41 items placed under import restriction.
He noted that despite the restriction placed on some of the items, especially rice and tomato paste, many of the items still find their way into the Nigerian market in large quantities.
He said that the implication of this on the revenue collection of the Nigeria Customs is huge, because other countries are now taking the revenue while the goods are smuggled into Nigeria.
Ekweozor equally commended the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Alli for securing the approval for clearance of a huge backlog of imports at the port.
He said that imports in respect of which forms `M’ were opened before the commencement of the CBN foreign exchange restriction are now being treated.
He noted that the association has issued a circular to all its members to compile a list of such imports which would be forwarded to the customs for immediate approval and release.
“Dishonest declaration is everywhere as a result of the un-approved form M’s, but with this measure that customs has taken, the dishonest declaration will stop.
All our chapters have been asked to compile a list of un-approved form ‘M and submit to the customs service” “Importers of such goods could not finalize Customs clearance due to inability to obtain the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) but Customs have decided to waive the formalities and allow them to pay duty”
“The same items are still coming into the country, it is not scarce in the market and yet another country is collecting the revenue.
Rice and Tomato paste should be lifted, these are imported in large containers, for the past one year it has not been imported but it is all over the market” he observed.
Speaking earlier, Chairman of Ikorodu Chapter of NAGAFF, Mr. Muftau David Ola said his executives decided to make Ekweozor Life Patron of the chapter because they recognized his immense contribution to the upliftment of the standards of practice in the chapter during his tenure as former chairman.