By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
A Civil Society Organization, the Good Governance Forum (GGF) has asked the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to implement the single window system in verifying and clearing imported goods.
GGF while making the call in a statement signed by its Director General Awaiye Adedayo and the Director, Public Relations Agbechoma Grateful in response to the suspended policy on retroactive duties payment by the NCS added that to ensure effective implementation of the single window system, there is the need for a total overhaul of the NCS processes.
It added that total overhaul of the NCS processes should be in the following ways:
“ Audit their books, investigate and fish out corrupt customs officials who have been cutting corners to assist car importers, and prosecute them. Set up automated systems to properly calculate duties to be paid for any imported car, and this should not just be at the discretion of the officers; by this, importers would already know the duty to be paid before the car arrives.
GGF gave other ways as “build up stronger border controls to check illegal car importations.
Collaborate with car registration agencies or offices all over the federation to set up systems that will check genuine customers’ documentation before any car is registered, and trigger any erroneous car registrations and ban every manual car clearing and payment processes”.
According to the Civil Society Organization, the single window system introduced at the ports by the Federal Ministry of Finance during the Dr Goodluck Jonathan administration “requires that imported goods be verified through an automated process within 24 hours”.
GGF emphasized that “though the law empowers NCS to check non-payment of duties, it would not be necessary to do so if the process of verification ensured that there were no defaulters”.
The Organization stressed that the “retroactive enforcement of vehicle duties payment at this time of economic recession was not a right move, as it would further increase the hardship on the Tpeople”.
GGF then called on the National Assembly “to consider an amendment of the law establishing the NCS to make it difficult for it to impound any vehicle once the vehicle’s duty has been verified and is duly registered”.