The Nigeria Customs Service has warned exporters against processing and exporting contraband goods out of the country.
Aminu Dahiru, the Western Zone Coordinator of Customs, stated this Monday during the Global Searchlight Magazine’s First Anniversary Lecture held in Lagos.
Mr Dahiru said the agency is set to seize such goods and prosecute offenders.
“All exports are duty free, that does not give some mischievous persons the opportunity to export contraband goods,” he said.
“My men are vigilant not to allow such items go out of Nigeria’s shore. Take timber for example, timber in any form is contraband. We are on the lookout for exporters of such.”
Also speaking at the event, Hassan Bello, executive secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, said the agency is finalising plans to partner with the Ministry of Agriculture to boost export of agricultural produce to other parts of the world.
Delivering a lecture titled: The Role of Ports Economic Regulator in Promoting Export Trade in Nigeria, Mr Bello said that the NSC had held interactive sections with the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Nigeria Export Import Bank among others on how best to assist Nigerian shippers and farmers for the export of their produce.
Mr Bello, who was represented by the Director Special Duties and Public Relations of the Council, Ignatius Nweke, further disclosed that they have been talking with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council on the need to assist shippers to export their goods.
“So far now, the Export Promotion Council is in the Board of Shippers’ Council, we have been able to
synergise with them and see the best we can encourage and work with them in terms of encouraging export,” he said.
He recalled that the council had established Border Information Centres in different parts of the country so
as to enable it have information on the best approach to exporting goods from the country while enabling
shippers access those centres to aid their export trade.
“We looked into the issue of having collaborations with the technical unit on government and agricultural reforms programme, Independent Corrupt Practices on this issue of SOP and PSSP.
“All these things we are trying to do to make sure that there is seamless flow in terms of trade and the trade
we are concerned about is the non-oil export and these are things we have been doing all these while.
“When we look at the records by way of interventions, you discover that in 2017, according to the Bureau of
Statistics, we have a total export of N3.9 billion in the fourth quarter of last year which grew by 35% over the
figure of the third quarter of that year. We look at the countries we have been trading with, in the first quarter
of 2018, we have India, Netherland, Spain, United States, France, South Africa, UK, Indonesia, there are lots of figures.
“All things said and done, with us at the Shippers’ Council, one thing is paramount to us as a port economic regulator; we should equally encourage export trade in Nigeria. If we don’t work at encouraging export out of the country, then the economy will not be balanced and that is the major concern of government.
“Council is equally planning a major programme with the Ministry of Agriculture on how to encourage export and it is only if we do that that we will be able to ensure that the balance of trade in the country gets on better
and I think we have to create employment in this country.”
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