Critical stakeholders in the clearing subsector of the Nigerian maritime industry have disagreed on whether the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) can be queried on quantity alone and not on value.
In his opening speech at the 3rd Anniversary, Conferment of Awards of Excellence/Unveiling of a New Magazine organised by Ports Gists and Events on MiTV in Lagos, yesterday week, the Executive producer, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Ports Gists and Events, Dr. Kayode Farinto wondered why the Nigeria Customs Service will query PAAR on quantity and value.
According to him, PAAR should be queried only on quantity and not on value even as he stated that the theme of the workshop: “Appraisal of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) in the Last Ten Months,” was borne out of the challenges Customs brokers face and the teething problems encountered at the early stage of its implementation hence the need to take stock of its performance after ten months.
On his part while speaking, the National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Prince Olayiwola Shittu said he disagreed with Dr. Farinto for saying that PAAR could be queried on quantity alone and not on value adding that PAAR could be queried on anything because it is based on declaration of the shipper or agent.
“This is why I want to disagree with Dr. Farinto when he said PAAR can be queried on quantity but PAAR cannot be queried on value.
“PAAR can be queried on anything t all because PAAR system is based on your declaration. Those in the ruling centre don’t know what is imported by your principal,” he said.
However, Deputy Controller Yusuf Bashir, APM of the Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa command said that PAAR which was flagged off on 1st January, 2014 has been able to solve the slow and ambiguous clearing process hitherto witnessed in the port as well as increase the revenue generation for the Federal Government.
He said PAAR now has over 1,200 transmissions per day even as he added that between January and September, last year, the Customs generated N606.7 billion but with the advent of PAAR, it was able to generate N713.6 billion within the same period in 2014 despite the teething problems that lasted for three months.
He further stated that the service through the introduction of PAAR has been able to save up to N36.7 billion for the government which would have gone to the Service Providers.
Meanwhile, the organisers of the event have unveiled a new magazine called Port, Entertainment and Business Gist (PEB Magazine) into the industry.
Dr. Farinto said he was prompted into journalism when he discovered that there was no in-depth reportage of the industry as well as the way some journalists jumped into conclusion without thorough investigation thereby portraying the agents in negative lights.
He stated that Port Gist on MiTV which debut three years ago had gulped over N50 million due to annual payment of over ten million naira to the television house, acquisition of latest equipment, cost of production and payment of staff salaries.
Some industry stakeholders were honoured with awards at the event for their contribution towards the development of the industry.
Among them are: the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde; the National President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu; the V ice Chairman of SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi; the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Apapa Customs command, Charles Edike among others.