Address Exchange Rates Volatility, Maritime Stakeholders Urge Govt

Address Exchange Rates Volatility, Maritime Stakeholders Urge Govt

The Customs Consultative Committee has urged the federal government to review the Nigerian Customs Law to cushion the effect of naira exchange rate volatility against the dollar.

At a stakeholders meeting held in Lagos, yesterday, the nascent body said this has become imperative to protect local businesses engaged in import and export.

According to the body made up of various stakeholders in the maritime sector including top customs officers, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), business owners and active players in the industry, the new law has the potential of increasing Africa’s volume of trade which currently stood at two percent globally.

CCC also resolved to partner with the government through institutional support aimed at ensuring the workability of the policies enunciated in the new Act.

It said, good ad the new law was, government at the centre needs to ensure the implementation of the Act with the Act with the necessary political will it deserved.

According to the body, the government needs to incentify good corporate governance and absolute compliance to the laws governing the maritime sector, while not sparing infractions to serve as a deterrent.

“It marks a duplicity to encourage violators of laws in the maritime sector by not punishing infractions, while those who out of compliance with government policies continue to suffer huge loss,” the body said.
The Consultative Committee said efforts must be geared towards making Nigeria Ports more efficient and profitable in line with global practices.

“Ports, anywhere in the world do not sleep. It works 24 hours. This is the only way to go. Ports do not close businesses at all. However, it is not the same as a Nigerian port who works like the Ministry in Nigeria. This must be addressed,” it said.

While advocating improved trade facilitation among critical stakeholders, the committee said digitalization of the ports would reduce down time as well as encourage improved trade relations targeted as raising the accruable revenue to government.

It also urges federal government to take a second look at the processes in the ports, adding that, “30 days and 14 days notices to terminal operators need to be looked into as the timing is too short”
The body noted that it was concerned with the dynamics and trends within the international trade and security supply chain, especially from fostering efficiency and seamless considerations along the Customs ports operation, adding that there was need for process and operational re-appraisals.

It said, it aims to provide a platform for intellectual brainstorming sessions resulting in cross fertilisation and collation of robust ideas in relation to improving trades, shipping, ports, customs and regulatory activities within the supply chains.

According to the committee, efforts would be made to articulate ideas and recommendations for the attention of the relevant policymakers in the supply chains.

It said, CCC was committed to proffering ideas and solutions that will aid customs administration positively by providing a conducive environment for critical Stakeholders in the transport cum trade industry to interact freely and genuinely.

The CCC said it was committed to “lead the conversation in the eradication of technical and human barriers inhibiting trade fluidity and unbundling noticeable hitches within the shipping spaces and proffering a one stop measure in the area of product and professional regulation.

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