Shippers Council to assist Customs meet N2trn revenue target for 2020

•  As agencies synergise for single-window platform

The Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) has pledged to assist the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) achieve the N2 trillion revenue target into the federation coffers before the end of 2020 through synergised enforcement that will eradicate tax violations at the country’s port.

The Executive Secretary of NSC, Hassan Bello, made this assertion when he paid a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Customs Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.

Bello expressed the readiness of the Shippers Council to assist the Nigerian Customs in achieving its N1.6trillion revenue target in 2020.

“The target, as we heard, is for you to generate about N1.6trillion and you’ve already said you’re going to generate N2trillion. We are here to assist you in generating even more than the N2trillion.”

He emphasised that the aim of the synergy was to ensure that no one abscond with tax “or customs duty which is really facing low compliance.  And that is what we are really going to focus on this year, to work with Customs to see that if you (importers) comply, your goods will be out, nobody will stop your goods.”

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He also announced that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) will work together for the introduction of a single-window platform that would enable all regulatory agencies at the ports to ensure compliance to procedures, reduce delays and boost revenues.

According to him, “E-Customs is the appropriate technology that will gladden the hearts of many. In no time, if there is synergy among the regulators, Customs, Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Shippers’ Council and others, there will be a lot of compliance.

“We represent the shippers but we also know that compliance is a serious problem. If all the shippers would comply, then, there won’t be delays. Delay is occasioned by persistent failure to comply, and this is sometimes deliberate.

In his response, the Controller General of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali, said that Nigeria Customs was ready to collaborate with the Shippers’ Council to sensitise stakeholders on the importance of compliance which had become Nigeria’s biggest problem in terms of trade.

“We have the habit of wanting to shortchange the government and the system. Our mentality on compliance is zero. We must find a model for enforcing compliance. There must be sanctions. I think that is the only way to ensure compliance,’’ he stated.

Ali further revealed that “a discourse on compliance will go a long way and we look forward to cooperating with you (NSC) to ensure that a forum is organized to make our people aware.”

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