By Ayo Fadimu
The Controller General of Custom, Col. Hameed Alli (rtd) has said transparent and integrity driven compliant initiative is pivotal in achieving status upgrade to Authorised Economic Operators level.
Col. Alli posited that transparence among importers, agents and others operating under customs regulation, can no doubt, help trading community members in attainment of the Authorised Economic Operators level.
Speaking in one day programme organised by The Journal of Freight & Energy on “Maximising benefits of Intra African Trade Under AFCFTA Regime,” the CG represented by Morenike Oladunni, Area Controller, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Command, expressed tje agency’s readiness to promote seamless business transactions in Nigeria’s ports.
“The successful takeoff of an AEO programme in Nigeria, can only be achieved, if the stakeholders in the international trade supply chain uphold their desire to achieve a transparent, integrity driven, compliant initiative with regards to extant laws governing global trade.
“This is part of our efforts to promote the Ease of Doing Business and support the drive to making our ports a transit area for imports and exports.
“This degree of compliance, if sustained by importers, agents and others operating under Customs regulation,”
Further, the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Peterside Dakuku, while delivering his speech, revealed that currently, inter African export accounts for only 17 percent of total African export.
“This percentage is very low compared to levels in Europe (69 percent), Asia (59 percent) and North America (31 percent ). It is projected that from 2020 when the agreement will come into force, depending on the liberalisation efforts of member countries by 2040, intra African trade will increase by nearly 40 percent to 50 percent.
“As trade grows, so does the shipping industry. In this new trade arrangement, any country that is able to dominate the shipping industry will reap more than its proportionate share of the benefit accruing from the new arrangements,”
Dakuku advised stakeholders to take the advantage of the opportunity created through informed investment in the maritime industry.
“It is therefore important to note that irrespective of what all the government agencies are doing and all the good policies in place, if the private stakeholders refuse to take advantage of them and invest in the industry nothing will be achieved.”