Clearing agents demand statutory remuneration from customs revenue

National President ANLCA, Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has demanded that it should be remunerated like other government agencies in order to boost revenues generated by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The National President of ANLCA, Alhaji Olayiwola Shittu, stated this in an interview in Lagos.
He said that such financial incentive from the government to the agents would encourage their members to do more work and pay in more customs duty.

``It is the customs agents that advise importers on the need to bring their cargoes through the regular ports and not by smuggling. So, they add value in making sure that Nigerian ports are patronised.

``If the agent is remunerated by the Federal Government, chances are, your patriotic zeal will be enhanced more with the government because you have an interest. 

``And when we look at it, Nigeria as it is today, we are more like commissioned agents to government. We are generating revenue; customs is collecting the revenue and domiciling it with the banks; the banks will forward it to Central Bank.

``All other consultants and agents to government are remunerated; and that is why we say, if we can work so hard to be able to get up to N800 billion for customs, we can do more because the catch is, we are the interface with the importer.

``The importer needs us to assist them. But we also owe it a duty to Federal Government that gave us licence through customs, to make sure that optimum collection is made by customs.”

The ANLCA President said that the freight forwarding associations had urged the government to give them a percentage of the revenue which was hitherto being collected by the erstwhile service providers.

He said it would not be too much for the agents to have a share of the 1 per cent Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS) charges which the government still collected.

Shittu said the request could be supported with the fact that the associations had taken additional responsibility of helping with classification, directing Importers and agents on what was expected of them.

He said that task had made them to increase their training programmes to be abreast of new regulations, customs notices and guidelines in preparation of customs documents.