Lagos, Jan. 3, 2024: A maritime expert, Dr Kayode Farinto, has called for an introduction of measures by the Federal Government to prevent cargo loss to neighbouring countries in 2024.
Farinto, former acting National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), gave the advice on Tuesday in Lagos.
Farinto enjoined government to introduce measures that would cushion the effects of its various economic policies.
He noted that importation was dropping on a daily basis in the country due to the exchange rate challenges.
Farinto also stressed the need for trade facilitation by the government.
“How do we encourage these importers that are bringing in consignments because whether we like it or not, we will continue to lose our cargoes to neighbouring countries.
“On some of the measures to implement to stop cargo loss, we have been collecting seven per cent of port levy in the last three decades, it is no more adding value, where is the money going, government should discontinue it.
“With the way we tax our Value Added Tax (VAT), its double taxation.
“We appreciate government for setting up a committee and we have presented a position paper, looking at the way we charge our VAT.
“If I buy a commodity of N5, you should charge me VAT based on that N5, not when you are charging me VAT based on the duty, the surcharge and everything, and we are still subjected to tax, this is double taxation.
“The issue of the reduction of age limit of imported vehicles from 15 years to 12 years should be adjusted,” he said.
He urged that the government should bend backwards and make the policy 15 years to accommodate the younger youth who are into hailing business.
Farinto also called for palliatives for customs brokers to boost revenue generation.
“We are giving customs four per cent of what we generate. If anybody gives me one per cent of what I generated in 2023, do you think I will allow any importer to sub-charge the Federal Government,” he said.
He also urged the Federal Government to pursue measures that would strengthen the nation’s currency in the current year.
“The various terminal operators and shipping companies taxes are a lot. There is the need to strengthen the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to ensure they play their part to take back our industry,” he said.
He urged that the council should look into the collection of the container deposit.
The expert wondered why container deposit collected from importers were not paid back after 90 days.
“Their money are being traded with. This is also a mitigant and if all these mitigants are implemented, the grassroots will feel it positively,” he said.