How FG Can Increase Number, Quality of Vehicles Imported Into Nigeria- ANLCA National Secretary

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National Secretary of ANLCA , Alhaji Abdulazeez Babatunde Mukaila

INTERVIEW

 

Alhaji Babatunde  Abdulazeez, is a revered  customs broker , and  National Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA) . In this interview with SHOLA FADEYI, conducted recently,   he  proffers advice on steps to be taken by the new political administration in the country  to enhance the performance of the maritime sector and suggested measures to be taken to Improve  the number and quality of vehicles imported into Nigeria.He also commented on other matters. Excerpts:-

 

If government is going to insist on age limit for imported vehicles being 12 years, my advice is that , whosoever brings  the neatest and newest vehicles should pay less duty , and those who import  old cars should pay high, just as it is done in Ghana.

Rebate

if you bring a vehicle that was manufactured in 2022, into the country,  you should get like 50 per cent rebate.This is exactly the principle of the VIN Vehicle Valuation policy  ,under which, if for instance , you  import  any car that is 13 years or  20 years , you pay on 12 years.

VIN Vehicle Valuation Policy

On the issue of VIN Valuation policy , it seems that the human element that is always within the port environment has crept in.The policy has been ‘bastardised’  in a way, by unscrupulous elements  At the inception of the policy, when we criticized it, Customs invited representatives of the freight forwarding association to Abuja, for the test run. They made some adjustments, before the implementation   commenced.

Duty

Normally, I do not engage in clearing of vehicles, because of the unpredictability of the duty , but I gave it a try, when the VIN   policy was first introduced, and I cleared the vehicles smoothly, but now it is no longer so. Though Comptroller Oloyede, as the Controller of Tin Can Command , where Vin Valuation policy is at the pilot stage , gave it , the  best ,since he piloted it at Tin Can .

Circumvention of Policy

But the problem is that, there are many unprofessional people ,who call themselves agents and who mill around the Tin Can Command who have polluted the policy. So, they have devised a way of forging signatures of the Controller and other officers to circumvent protocols.

Professionalism

But, ANLCA stands for professionalism. We would not be part of anybody who wants to circumvent the system.What ANLCA stands for is proper declaration and compliance ,professionalism, , standing as a stumbling block to trade facilitation or ease of doing business.

Punishment

If anybody is found doing that, he should get the maximum punishment.This is exactly what Comptroller Oloyede is doing at Tin Can.He’s doing a very great job. But the issue is that corruption can only be reduced.

Seized Agents Licenses

On the issue of controversy on  seized licenses , it is really not the first time.At the twilight of Prince Shittu’s regime , he had to recover some licenses which have problems then, during  Tony Iju’s administration , he also  recovered many.

Due Diligence

But because computer is garbage in garbage out, when the licenses were clamped down, the red flag  that was sent down  to the managerial lines in customs were not vacated in all the places,  when the licenses were released, so  those ones are still raising questions, so we  moved in to do some due diligence.

Running of Secretariat

On how we have  been managing   the Secretariat, since the crisis started, I must say that it has not been easy, because somebody had to be here to do the job. I made a promise, when I was campaigning for this  position, that the Secretariat will remain open  till the last day I will leave office, and I think I have fulfilled that promise , barring the intermittent closures  and when the doors of the Secretariat had to be shut because of the crisis.

Territorial Waters

The maritime sector needs a total overhaul .It has been left unattended to for so long.The maritime sector has 10,000 kilometers of  territorial waters , only 3,000 is utilized.The economy of the country would definitely experience improvement , if the there are investments in the remaining 7,000

Searchlight

Coming to the area of blue Economy. It is a very bogus and wide sector , with so many  types of professional calling, but so many are yet to be identified. Tinubu has already shown that he wants  to assist the masses .We are also losing money in the ports .Tinubu will need to beam his searchlight to the ports .We are losing money to private pockets at the ports.He will really need to  recalibrate the processes at the ports , make it very predictable and transparent.

Policy Somersault

The core principle of customs brokerage by WCO is transparency and  predictability. How many Nigerian importers can predict the landing cost of what they import.Policy somersault, territorial rivalries between government agencies regulating import and export, needs to be streamlined.

Territorial Conflicts

This is because the territorial conflicts are breaking protocols, and thus translating to demurrage on goods and over head costs , that are passed to Nigerians in the realm of high cost of goods and services.So, he needs to give Nigerians a fresh breadth, let us know what is going to happen from point A to point B. It is unpredictable right now , everyone is Lord at the Ports.

Attention

So, Tinubu has done well, since his  inauguration, with the way he solved the territorial conflicts between the DSS and the EFCC.The issue of dicothomy, everyone doing the same thing.This needs to be attended to.   He has been straight forward, with the way he handled the fuel subsidy issue, so that we know , where we are going in the next four years.