… Says idea should be jettisoned entirely
A former National President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Eugene Nweke has objected to the request made by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) calling for a 90 day grace period before the new Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s policy on e-valuator and e-invoice should be implemented.
Nweke who raised his objection in a statement made available to our correspondent in Lagos on Monday stated that the idea should be jettisoned forthwith as the informal sector viewed the policy as a designed conspiracy against the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
According to him, the move was meant to lend credence to the earlier public threat to take over the customs functions by the Federal Ministry of Finance.
He maintained that the policy on f allowed to succeed will push monetary policy in conflict with fiscal policy adding that “the move is a redesigned and reversal order aimed to take Nigeria back to Pre-shipment Inspection ( PSI) regime.
He said, “Conflict of interest so glaring, as same supervisory Minister vetoed the e-customs modernization and consented to the e-evaluator and e-invoicing.
“The move amounts to double handling and taxation both at the port of origin and port of destination. The operational pedigree, performance and capacity of the contractor or consultant is not known by the Nigerian lawmakers and the biding process for official engagement is not in the public knowledge.
“The initiative will increase the cost of importation into the country with its contributory infractions to the economic hardship in the land and the worsening inflation weakening the citizens purchasing power.
“The consultancy services fee, terms and conditions or contract value payable to the consultant is not in the public knowledge. No sensitization of the stakeholders prior to contractual engagements.”
Dr. Nweke, therefore, submitted that the initiative was a calculated and subtle move to usurp the statutory function of the Nigeria Customs Service from behind.
He, however, advised the Federal Executive Council as well as the National Assembly to take a second look at the incessant engagements of army of occupation by some of its agencies, all in the name of “creating food for the boys.”
“By the present destination inspection, it is the duty of the customs to evaluate or raise value for trade goods coming into or leaving the country.
When you set a parallel consultant to receive e-invoice into their portal and to re-evaluate it at a set benchmark, it amounts to usurping of the function of the Nigeria Customs Service”, he concluded.
It will be recalled that the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) recently asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to extend the implementation of the E-invoice and E-evaluator initiatives by 90 days to accommodate inputs of the stakeholders.
Mr. Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General, MAN, said the call was pertinent particularly for those classes of manufacturers and businesses that would be negatively affected by the development.
He noted that the 11 days grace for implementation was rather hasty as the circular on monetary or fiscal guidelines required adequate adjustment time.
Ajayi-Kadir noted that many operators would have opened Form M and concluded deals for international transactions; where a minimum of 90 days allowance of time was normally required.
However, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the House of Representatives had already asked the CBN to suspend its implementation to allow for adequate sensitisation on the workability of the policy in all major ports of entry across the country.
Photo: Dr. Eugene Nweke, former National President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, (NAGAFF).
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