Amidst the tough business terrain created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Nigeria Customs Service is out to snatch the lives out of businesses in the country, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) raised the alarm on Monday.
In a statement on Monday, Timothy Olawale, director general of NECA gave a list of unfriendly policies and anti-business behaviour of Customs operatives targeted at deliberately frustrating businesses.
According to him, Customs operatives “obstruct legitimate businesses through inconsistent and arbitrary tariff classification, excessive and unfriendly duty rate on key raw materials that have no local substitute.”
The NECA DG accused the Customs Service of “improper valuation of consignments and reckless interception of containers after legitimate clearance,” calling on the federal government to call the service to order.
He also condemned the “incessant obstruction” caused by the Nigeria Customs Service stating that the situation is hindering the Ease of Doing Business policy of the Federal Government.
Olawale said, “The world economy is on the precipice with nations doing all that is necessary to keep their productive sector going. Recent incessant issues with the Nigeria Customs Service have become worrisome as it has the potential to push businesses off the cliff.
“Customs officers’ attitude would fast-track the demise of more enterprises and exacerbate the current unemployment situation in Nigeria. Customs wants to meet its revenue target, but it should not be at the expense of legitimate businesses.
“With the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) coming into effect Jan. 1, 2021, these recurring issues will only destroy Nigerian businesses. It will also make importation of manufactured goods more attractive with grave consequences for Nigeria.”