The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for urgent intervention and reforms of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in the area of processes and procedures for the clearance of cargoes at the ports.
The Chamber noted with disdain that the difficulties encountered by importers during the clearance of cargoes at the ports were so huge that they are severely hurting investors and adversely affecting economic recovery efforts.
A statement signed by the Chamber’s Director General, Dr Muda Yusuf, said the business community is compelled to interface with too many units of the NCS and other government agencies making doing business extremely difficult and frustrating.
These units include the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) office, valuation units, examination, releasing, unblocking, DC report, stamping unit, exit gate and enforcement.
Other government agencies that businesses have to contend with at the ports include NAFDAC, SON, Plant Quarantine, SSS, Police Anti Bomb Squad, and the Port Police.
He noted that outside the ports, importers are confronted with Federal Operations Unit of the Customs, Customs Strike Force, and the Customs Police.
Yusuf lamented that encounters by the private sector with these numerous agencies impose unbearable burden on importers and investors in terms of costs, time, and bureaucracy.