Editorial Team

Emmanuel Udom-Managing Editor, Stephen Dijo Philemon-Deputy Editor, Janet Udom-Senior Correspondent, Precious Udom-Senior Correspondent, Williams Ita-Bureau Chief(Akwa Ibom/Cross River), Fabian Idoko-Senior Correspondent

    Manufacturer's Representative Import Export General Merchandise Contract Adress: Araromi Quarters, Owode Area, Ifo, Ogun state, Nigeria P.O.Box 2632, Oshiodi, Lagos Telephone: 2348166719412

    Friday, 9 December 2016

    Diversifying Nigeria’s economy & looking-inward for growth

    By Stephen Dijo Philemon
    Maritime journalists have been urged to lay more emphasis on local production, and set agenda for capacity of Nigerian Producers to discourage preference for foreign goods; this will boost production and consumption of homemade goods.

    This call was made by the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs, Colonel Hammed Ibrahim Ali (RTD) at the three day maiden retreat of Association of Maritime Journalist of Nigeria, AMJON recently at the Administrative Staff College Topo Badagry, Lagos State.

    The customs boss who was represented by the service Public Relation Officer, Deputy Comptroller Wale Adeniyi said this became necessary considering the havoc Nigerians penchant for consumption of foreign goods has wrecked on the nation’s economy.

    Reeling out the services activities as an agent of economic growth, the Customs boss said the service is not relenting in its beat to be a step ahead of smugglers who are enemies of nation’s economic growth. 

    The dream of economic growth is the heart beat of the organization, this is why the service has intensified efforts in its anti – smuggling campaign aims at sustaining increase production of goods and service locally over  a period of time to improve the welfare of the citizens. 

    The C.G said is traditionally measured in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) when one considers this against the backdrop of NCS acclaimed function of revenue generation, trade facilitation and citizen’s protection; this proves that the service is a critic agent of economic growth.

    The CG believes that when economy is growing, key features will be increased in GDP; the employment rate, provision of basic infrastructures and social services. The core of function of services is linked to these features for instance, the service total revenue collection for  Federation, non-federation account from 2014 to 2016 stood at N2,528,466,964,156.74 this goes into government coffers. 

    A significant part of this became monthly allocations to the three tier of governments Federal, state local governments to execute projects to stimulate economy, provision of infrastructure and social services.

    This is why the service does not relent on it anti – smuggling activities as its commitment to protect Nigeria products.

    For instance, between 2014 and 2016 the duty paid value (DPV) on goods seized by customs stood at N22, 274,606,826.9. The huge seizure if allowed to entire the Nigeria market, one can imagine the toll it would have taken on local products.

    Besides going a whole hug to tame smugglers, the services according to the CG has also undertaken other measures of activities and projects aimed at facilitating trade and stimulate growth. These are, launch of the Pre – Arrival Assessment.

    Report PAAR which is an application tool for fast clearance of imports, the development of word class trade Hub, the www.nigeriatradehub.gov.ng to provide round the clock online information about Nigeria trade, the use of fast track concession for traders to promote compliant importers among others and the structure of the common external tariff (CET). 

    This structure serves as a protectionist instrument for the local economy while the service plays down on raw materials and machineries which are primary products required as inputs for local manufacturing industries. Finished products are clamped down with high rates of duty and additional levies with a long list items under import prohibition to stimulate local production.

    Despite visible achievements recorded so far, the service, according to Comptroller General, does not rest on its oar, it continually churns out policy that will make Nigeria occupy her prime place in the sub-regional economy.

    Another excellent policy put in place to encourage sub - regional trade is ECOWAS Trade Liberalization scheme ETLS. This policy ensures that good produced within the community are granted free market access in the region and Nigeria products are enjoying maximum advantage of it; keeping jobs in Nigeria and earning forex from their exports. In the past three years CIF value of exports from Nigeria under the scheme stood at N233,642,521,641,  

    while total imports from the 14 other member countries is N360,714,779,595. This with major traded community manufactured in Nigeria for ECOWAS markets are cigarette, Cocoa paste and Beans, Sesame oil, Milk and Milk Powder, footwear, Cashew nuts, Seafoods, Floating or sub- mersible drilling services.

    While customs service is continually exploring avenue to better the lot of Nigeria trade facilitation, the customs boss believes we need a re-think in our economic development. Nigeria must look beyond oil and diversify as the future of Nigeria economy could only be sustained on the basis of in-ward looking and be self-reliance. We should go back to farm.

     The orientation that only imported goods is fit for consumption is erroneous. Nigerians should free themselves from the entanglement unscrupulous Nigeria importers who have put us in the web of deceit that the food items is only good enough when it is imported. Let Nigerians demystify this, the nations has verse arable land for food production.

    Several initiatives, the CG said,  have been made by Buhari administration and has a political will to revolutionize agriculture as farming will engage over 70%  unemployed teaming youth population and increase the GDP. States like Ebonyi, Kebbi and Lagos have taken a bold step in local production, other states should follow suit. Effort should be tailored towards addressing challenges faced by our local farmers. 

    This will prepare us to chart a new course for nation’s economic growth. Especially now that numerous export promotion incentives explored over a decade have failed to produce a desire results. 

    Moreover, the Customs boss said, there has been several abuse from both the beneficiaries of the export promotion and implementing agencies. 

    Thus, a fundamental review, if not total overhaul of the policies is required if Nigeria is to achieve a desired objective of making its exports a competitive in the global market.

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