The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has condemned the “incessant obstruction” caused by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The organisation says the situation was hindering the Ease of Doing Business policy of the Buhari administration and called on the President to act urgently.
NECA alerted that some businesses were going down due to the actions of Customs’ officers and men.
NECA Director-General, Timothy Olawale, laid the complaint via a statement on Monday.
Olawale lamented that Customs operatives obstruct legitimate businesses through inconsistent and arbitrary tariff classification, excessive and unfriendly duty rate on key raw materials without local substitute.
The DG noted that other blockages include improper valuation of consignments and reckless interception of containers after legitimate clearance, among others.
“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”, he wrote.
NECA said Customs’ attitude would fast-track the demise of more enterprises and exacerbate the current unemployment situation in Nigeria.
Noting that while the Customs is desirous of meeting its revenue target, 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.”
Olawale further advised the federal government to call NCS to order.
He added that all hands must be on deck to promote local enterprise competitiveness and prevent job losses.