President of Association of Nigeria Licensed Custom Agents (ANCLA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu has drawn the attention of the Nigeria Customs Boss, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) to the expensive nature of doing business across the Benin-Nigeria border.
In his remarks at a stakeholders’ interactive meeting in Cotonou, Benin Republic weekend, Shittu said “Cost of transiting ETLS ( ECOWAS Goods) from Ghana to Lagos should be checked, to provide room for trade facilitation and trade competitions within the West African sub region.
“ For instance, a truck of ETLS cargo from Ghana pays CFA300,000 to exit Ghana into Togo and pays CFA400,000 to exit Togo into Benin Republic. The same truck will be charged CFA2,800,000 to ext Benin Republic into Nigeria, for reasons best known to Benin Republic Customs,” he declared.
The ANLCA boss noted that the multiplicity of security agencies was further aggravating the expenses incurred in transiting cargoes across the borders, demanding a downward review of the agencies.
He also pleaded with Customs boss to intervene on the controversial exchange rate issue as regarding importation which has highly depressed importers and clearing agents in the country.
He noted that imports were fast drying up because of the unfriendly policy while robbing Government of much needed revenue and threatening thousands of jobs.
On the issue of DTI closures, the ANLCA President urged the CGC to hasten the process of allocating passwords to 2016 renewed Customs licenses, as most jobs have been left hanging, with the abrupt shutdown again of commercial DTIs. He said that the private DTIs will ensure that particular/specific licenses are immediately held responsible, whenever infractions occur.
Earlier in her opening remarks, Madam Beatrice, Benin Republic’s charge de Affairs, said the purpose of the interactive session was to seek ways and means of solving the numerous problems affecting the free flow of trade between Benin Republic and Nigeria.
She acknowledged receipt by the embassy of series of complains by traders and stakeholders and expressed the hope that with the CGC visit, a lasting solution would be found.