The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has urged customs agents to put more efforts in order to boost the country’s export profile.
The Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Adewale Adeniyi, made the appeal while addressing protesting agents at the Ports & Terminal Multipurpose Ltd.Terminal, at Tincan Island, on Friday in Lagos.
Customs brokers under the aegis of the Association Concerned Freight Forwarders, protested against the recent increment in the payment of import duties.
Addressing the agents, Adeniyi decried overwhelming reliance on importation in the country.
He said that boosting the country’ s export profile was the only way of bringing foreign exchange to the economy.
“I have gone round the terminal and it is not what it used to be, it is practically empty. The vehicles that are there are not the type that we used to see in those days.
“Most of the vehicles I saw here are accidental vehicles and there are so many implications for this.
“For us, it is paining us because we are not going to get any revenue from it, our revenue this year is N3.6 trillion and we cannot achieve that amount with what we are seeing here.
“And the situation here is not different from other places, and for you, I also know the implication,” he said.
Adeniyi said he was not aware of an increase in customs duty as speculated by the agents.
He, however, blamed the change in exchange rate as the reason for the increment in duty.
“The question you ask yourself is, why is customs import duty high? Has anything changed? The duty has not changed, the amount you buy has not changed, and the insurance has not changed.
“We should stop deceiving ourselves, we know what has changed, it is the exchange rate,” Adewale said.
He called for a deliberate effort by everyone to change the narrative .
“Trade is evolving and we should benefit from international trade, we should not only be bringing in, we need to learn how to export to the rest of the world,” he said.