NAGAFF Lampoons Emefiele For Dabbling Into Foreign Trade Policy

By Babajide Okeowo

 NAGAFF Lampoons Emefiele For Dabbling Into Foreign Trade Policy
Dr. Boniface Aniebonam

The National Association of Government-Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has reserved criticism for the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele for causing great damage to Nigeria’s foreign trade and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Trade Facilitation drive.

The founder of the association, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam in a message lauding the good start for President Tinubu’s government, the exit of Emefiele, and the removal of oil subsidy lampooned the disgraced CBN governor for dabbling into trade policies of the finance ministry while failing to concentrate on monetary policy and implementation which are his core mandates.

“Many Nigerians may not know the level of damage the former CBN governor has done to Nigeria’s foreign trade and customs trade facilitation drive. Emefiele other than concentrating on monetary policy and implementation dabbled into trade policies of the finance ministry.

Most disturbing was that he became so arrogant and Mr. know all did not bother to consult Nigeria Customs Service before churning out fiscal policies and trade matters. And for the avoidance of doubts, he delisted well over forty-one trade goods from accessing the FOREX market.

Unfortunately, his action created so many problems for the Customs administration and management of international trade. In a situation where every import into Nigeria must have a registered Form M, this man Emefiele did not know that relevant sections of Customs laws provided for clearance of improper documentation.

Ordinarily, the introduction of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) is expected to be sacrosanct but the action of Emefiele destroyed the programme thus forcing the Customs to declare pre-arrival assessment report as being advisory.

This is where the Customs problem started in duty collection and accounting. Instances of untrue declaration for Customs purposes became the order of the day. This is because those items barred from accessing forex are not banned from importation. And to resolve this the customs have to rely on the provisions of Customs laws to mitigate the bad situation.

It is our hope that Mr. President shall as a matter of urgency repeal that piece of unguided trade policy to enhance revenue collection functions of the service. This avoidable revenue leakage must be blocked immediately and allow Customs to top their reform responsibility” the statement said.

Dr Aniebonam further disclosed that the association within the week will be making recommendations as to who the Custom’s CG and Minister of Transportation should be.

“We shall within the week recommend one or two names of competent core officers of the service with the capacity and required skills to take responsibility in the Nigeria Customs Service and Transportation Ministry.

Whoever is coming to the Transportation Ministry, should by our recommendation be a seasoned professional other than a politician.

Regret to mention that all the past Ministers Of Transportation in the last sixteen years did not realize the importance of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN). They are merely interested in the collection of port operating fees.

Finally, we also congratulate the wise men and women of the 9th assembly who- have made it possible through legislation for only well-trained and informed officers of the service to be appointed as the Comptroller General of Customs”.

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