…says economy will bear burden
The National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, has called for an indefinite suspension of the Practitioners’ Operating Fees(POF).
The ANLCA President made this known in a letter addressed to the Honorable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi on Friday, July 14, 2017.
Giving reasons for the rejection of the POF levy on freight forwarders and customs brokers, Shittu said operators in the sub sector were already saddled with enough levies and would not be able to take on more.
He explained that the fee would add to the cost of doing business, an issue that has been exhaustively discussed with a view to addressing the high cost of doing business in Nigeria’s ports.
He said: ” As the name suggested, the fees would amount to additional cost of doing business in Nigeria with multiplier effects adversely on the nation economy.
“As of now, Licensed Customs Agency being asked for payment of the practitioner’s Operating Fees has the following payments to make – Annual License Renewal – N215,000.00.
“Annual Nigeria Ports Authority License Renewal – N6,000.00; Annual Customs Command Operating Fees – N15,000.00/Customs Command; Bank Changes for Customs Bond – N52,500.00; CRFFN Annual Payment – N70,000.00/Staff Member.
“Adding daily payment of Practitioners’ Operating Fees would be financially burdensome on an average Customs Agency/Company which when transferred to the importers/exporters, will eventually bear heavily on the Nigerian economy negatively.”
The ANLCA President noted that such payment as the POF are not known to be paid anywhere else in the world, since freight forwarding and customs brokerage are global in practice.
He stated that introduction of the POF is a mastermind of a few people with selfish interests to distort the national economy.
Shittu supported the election and inauguration of a Governing Board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) in order for it “to determine the fate of the Practitioner’s Operating Fees and resolve some other issues, and not the other way round.”
He also said that “despite the absence of a governing board for several years, CRFFN has been receiving budgetary allocations yearly, through the Federal Ministry of Transport/Transportation, without recourse to accountability.
“We therefore, appeal to you in the interest of the Nigerian economy generally, to suspend the collection of the practitioner’s Operating Fees indefinitely to avoid the negative effects that the collection would attract to Nigeria, as a Nation.”