Customs processes and procedures for the clearance of cargo at the ports is one of the biggest challenges, which is severely hurting investors and adversely affecting economic recovery efforts, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI) has said.
The LCCI Director-General, Dr. Muda Yusuf, in a statement said the situation calls for urgent intervention and reforms of the Nigerian Customs service.
“The business community is compelled to interface with too many units of the Nigeria Customs Service and other government agencies which makes doing business extremely difficult and frustrating. It also predisposes the system to brazen extortionist practices.
“These units include the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) office, valuation units, examination, releasing, unblocking, DC report, stamping unit, exit gate, enforcement,” he noted.
Yusuf further mentioned that there are recurring issues of valuation of imports and HS Code classification of products, adding that PAAR issued by the Customs headquarters is frequently queried by Customs operatives at the ports.
“Many businesses have suffered severe disruptions in their investment projections because of large variations arising from revision of value and re-classification of imports by the PAAR Office at the Customs headquarters and the Customs units at the ports. This phenomenon has become persistent and hurting investors.”
While he called for a fair, just and speedy appeal process, he stressed the need for the Federal Government to urgently domesticate the World trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement to which Nigeria is a signatory.