ANCLA calls for state of emergency or suspension of Ease of Doing Business

The Acting National President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANCLA ) Dr. Kayode Farinto has called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency declare a state of emergency in the maritime sector or suspend the Ease of Doing Business policy of the government. 
Farinto in a statement at the weekend, said many factors including dilapidated infrastructures, and the extortion of agents by the Nigeria Customs Service warranted the association’s call for emergency status on the presidential order.

He said the problem has been due to: "Recent developments in the sea ports and land borders, vis-a -vis dilapidated infrastructures in the ports like roads, non-existence of multimodal transport and the multiple checking points by the Nigerian Customs Service  (NCS), and various extortion by the maritime police , other government agencies not complying with Executive Order.

"Failure of NCS to conform to the implementation of ease of doing business, double examination on containers, extortion of ANCLA members, Customs release and arrest and re-arrest of containers and above all, activities of FOU to query consignments based on low cargo and low value."
He noted that with the inconsistency of FG policy and implementation, coupled with the fact that shipping companies and terminal operators have refused to implement the federal government's ease of doing business order on ease of doing business, it would be very difficult for Nigeria as a country to get it right.

While lamenting the problems of extortion by the Customs and maritime police on his members in the maritime sector,  Farinto said: "The Controller General of Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali is not bigger than Nigeria, he can not continue to flout the Executive Order and actions is yet to be taken.

“The Inspector General of Police should come to the port and see how the maritime police has left their statutory functions and now obtain manifest from shipping companies and be stopping containers and call agents for settlement in which one hundred and fifty thousand is being paid per container.

"We hereby call for state of Emergency or better suspend Ease of Doing Business in the maritime sector, because it is not working.   

“Ministries, Directorate and Agencies (MDA's) behave to be bigger than the Federal Government, they are working for and also flouting orders given by Nigerian Ports Authority with impunity and no sanctions meted to them.

“Are they now bigger than the country? he asked rhetorically, and continued that  "we don't need to pretend that there is total systems collapse in the maritime industry. Hence the FG should stop deceiving Nigerians and stop shouting about ease of doing business, because it has been abused.”