Exporters bemoan N5000 per kilo of produce tariff charge



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Exporters in the Airfreight business have decried the exorbitant tariff charges imposed by the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service on agricultural produce, saying the agency charges as high as N5000 per kilo of goods.
They disclosed that due to the ridiculous charges, many of them have resorted to taking their goods to Ghana for export, to curtail the excesses of Nigerian government’s agencies.
The Chairman of Airfreight Forum, Sunday Akintunde, in Abuja, lamented that exporters prefer to carry their goods to Ghana and export with Ghanaian label to other parts of the world, thereby growing the economy, instead of Nigeria’s.
He expressed concern that the high tariff has pushed a lot of them out of business, as there is no return on investment, adding that it has indeed hampered export business in the country.
“We have a lot of challenges, one of it is the cost of exporting cargo, the aim of any business man is to have return on investment and unfortunately we don’t have that, there is so much bureaucracy by government agencies, inspection agencies like those in charge of issuing form CCI (Certificate of Capital Importation),” he said.
Akintunde called on government to review its policies and remove all the bottlenecks, adding that the world is changing and does not do manual documentation anymore.
A member of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Lanre Akerekan, affirmed that quarantine services charge them N5000 per kilo of any farm produce, which is very outrageous.
“The major goods that is exported out of Nigeria are foodstuffs, which is being regulated by quarantine service, but with a tariff as high as N5000 per kilo and you have a weight of 200kg, if you multiply that, how much is left for you?
Mr. Maaruf Idris, a Shea Butter exporter, said that the major challenge facing them is the high cost of operations due to logistics, tariff and the delay in getting the necessary documentations.
He said that before an exporter finishes with all the certification from the various agencies, some of the goods are already getting bad adding that there is delay in issuance of certification and document from National Export Promotion Council.
The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council, Hassan Bello, assured that the council was working with all relevant stakeholders in the sector to address the challenges.
He said the main objective of the council was to fast track clearance of cargoes and ensures adequate storage of cargoes and perishable items to attract more exporters into the business adding “we have to take into consideration the cost of cargo, some costs are not justified as they are not tied to service
He assured “We are not going to control cost but we will not allow arbitrary charges in the Nigerian port industry in the course of clearing cargoes.”
The Guardian