Following the downwards slide in the global oil prices, the former Chairman, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Tincan Island Chapter, Dr. Kayode Farintho has predicted that the year 2015 may not be a good year for the Federal government as it relates to revenue generation.
Speaking in a chat with newsmen in Lagos, Farintho stated that the federal government should embark on efforts towards developing alternative source of revenue for itself to enable it meet up with its responsibilities to the people.
He called on the government to revisit the import prohibition list with the aim of reducing the number of items on the list.
According to him, “but I know that 2015 may not be a good year for revenue generation for government. What I expect government should be looking into is what do we fall back on. Then most of the items that are placed on the prohibition list, government can be magnanimous now to reduce them in view of the fact that the government is not doing well”.
“Let it come in, we can give it levy, it will also assist the Nigeria Customs Service in the area of revenue generation. Don’t forget, that the Nigeria was a signatory to Common External Tariffs and the Common External Tariffs is not preaching about revenue generation. It is talking solely about facilitation of trade”.
“So I don’t see a situation where the Nigerian government will be giving the Nigeria Customs Service target in 2015. If the government will be giving customs target in 2015, that will be running counter to what the CET is preaching. It is a two edged sword”.
On suggestions that the government could fall back on the maritime sector in order to make up for the shortfall in the oil sector, Farintho dismissed the suggestion arguing that one cannot fall back on what he did not have.
He observed that before now, they had been calling on the government to create a level playing ground where other sectors could thrive but was quick to add that the government failed to that questioning how many people the government had given loan in the maritime industry to assist them.
“So, if government wants to fall back on the maritime industry, invariably, you are still going back to oil knowing full well that the oil price has slide or you want to say okay, revenue generation. You can only generate revenue if the importers are bringing consignments”.
“The only thing you may see this year is mainly of raw materials, some companies like the Nigerian Breweries, 7Up and what have you, most of the companies that bring bulk money may want to fold their arms to see what happens till march. So, how can government fall back on the maritime industry?” he queried.