NCS Defines Role in Facilitation of Export Trade

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By Innocent Orok

The Nigeria Customs
Service has defined its role in ensuring the smooth flow of goods across borders. Focusing on its critical role in facilitating export trade, the NCS stands at the forefront of Nigeria’s efforts to boost its export economy.

Speaking with NCBN correspondent on Wednesday, 1st November 2023, the Customs Area Controller of Lilypond Export Command, Comptroller Ajibola Odusanya, defined the NCS procedures in facilitating export trade.

He described the Command as a one-stop shop for export business, stating that “the current government policy in Nigeria requires zero duty payment for export.

“Exporters don’t pay export duties, except on special occasions, where
goods that were otherwise imported and are being re-exported, they pay 2.5% levy on the current value of the goods with the government’s permission.” He added.

Comptroller Odusanya gave a data analysis of exports the Command has facilitated within the year.

He said, “From January to the end of September 2023, the Command has facilitated the export of 12,438 export containers; if you break them down, we have 6524 × 20-foot containers and 5914 × 40-foot containers with a FOB value of $518,690,852.93.”

“For the goods, we have agricultural produce such as cocoa, cashew, soya, ginger, hibiscus flower (zobo leaves), cotton, sesame seeds, etc., locally manufactured goods like cigarettes, cosmetic items, beverages, etc. And solid minerals such as aluminium, copper, magnesium, lithium and Zinc.
We have other sundry commodities like foodstuff, personal effects and others.” He explained.

Stakeholders within the export terminal maintained that processing their documents with Customs is an efficient one, but suggested more manpower from other government agencies stationed at the export terminal to ease their clearance processes.

Comrade Augustine Umunnakwe, the Maritime Union Chairman, Lilypond export terminal-Unit, said, “Customs Officers are efficient in terms of their work, but where we have challenges are the the shipping companies because of less manpower attending to us.”

“Another thing is that, though government agencies are doing their work, in terms of clearance, their representatives should be stationed here to make the work more efficient.” He added.

Abdulsalam Babatunde, the Head of Processing Diamond Star Port and Terminal Limited, stated that, as an export processing terminal, there is a strong relationship and collaboration with the shipping lines and Government Agencies.

In his words, “We facilitate the processing at the Port, we have our handshake with the major shipping lines and the terminals , we confirm the bookings to ensure that whatever leaves this terminal goes directly to the vessel, we ensure their quality and their quantity.”

“We don’t do it alone. We work with NPA, ETP, and Customs as well and make sure that we do not export anything that has not been duly released by Customs.” Babatunde explained.

Emmanuel Ekle, the Principal Trade Promotion Officer at Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Southwest, disclosed that registration for exporters is a seamless process that is done online.

Emmanuel also revealed that the Council supports trade promotion activities and administer export incentives as well as export expansion grant.

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