Kicks against NCS valuation queries
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has advocated the implementation of the executive order tagged, Executive Order 5, to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.
According to the Chamber, the quality of implementation of this and previous directives is what will make the real difference in the outcomes and impact. Besides, the LCCI in a communiqué issued at the end of its council meeting also kicked against what it described as indiscriminate valuation queries of invoice of imported items by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), apparently in a bid to improve revenue generation.
The Chamber noted that there should be a credible ground to dispute the value of invoice on imports.“Most of the prices are global prices and are easily verifiable online. In many of the instances, the actions of the NCS have no bearing with these global prices. Prices vary across different regions of the world. Regrettably, there is no dependable dispute resolution framework in place to ensure speedy resolution of such disputes,” the Chamber added.
The Council urged the Presidency, Minister of Finance, and Comptroller General of Customs, to look urgently into the issue, noting that there should be an independent dispute resolution mechanism in place that could resolve valuation disputes within 48 hours because of the cost implications to importers of the delays.
“These include demurrage, penalties, interest costs on loans etc. The current arrangement whereby appeals are made to the Customs headquarters is not in consonance with the principle of natural justice.
The Nigeria Customs should not be a judge in its own case,” it said.On the growing insecurity across the country, the Council warned of adverse effects on businesses and the economy, saying: “the implication on food security in the country, food inflation, shortage of local raw materials for agro-allied businesses, poor investors’ confidence, global perception issues for the country, investment, and job losses in the near term.”
It added that the cost of providing alternative security such as the provision of private security, escorts, and protection facilities/equipment by businesses in some sectors has increased by 12 per cent over the last four years.