Transport

CBN encouraging false declaration at ports

frustrating businesses, say Customs brokers

By ADAKU WALTER

Customs brokers have accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) OF frustrating government’s ease of doing business initiative at the ports, insisting that the apex bank’s activities was the major cause of false declaration of imports at the nation’s ports.

Vice President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Dr. Kayode Farinto, alleged that 75 per cent of imports coming into the country were non-compliant, because of foreign exchange (Forex) restrictions the CBN placed on over 80 of imported items.

He expressed concerns that the CBN had taken so much powers to itself, which he said, was constituting an impediment to trade facilitation and ease of doing business, The Trumpet gathered.

He added that the agency now carried out overlapping functions to the extent that it now takes over the functions of the Ministry of Finance and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

“We no longer have ease of doing business in the ports. We all know the difficulties our members go through to clear cargoes from the ports. There are two policies, the monetary policy and the fiscal policy, the responsibility of CBN is to regulate monetary policy, a situation where an item is not under import prohibition and yet you cannot open Form M for them because it is under CBN’s forex restriction calls for concern.

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“To open Form M on importation of tyres for instance, you need clearance from the CBN and only the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele approves. We have more than 80 items on forex restrictions.

“CBN has succeeded in dabbling into fiscal policies. The Customs ought to have gone to the Ministry of Finance to correct the anomaly. This is because the CBN is carrying out an overlapping function, but the apex bank deliberately left it that way and allow people to be doing what they want, this is what encourages false declaration,” he stated.

He lamented that the CBN had abrogated to many powers to itself, which said was affecting importation and that since the items were not under restriction, Nigerians would want to import the items in by all means, adding: “If the CBN does the right things, it will reduce false declarations by over 75 per cent.”

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