A non-governmental organization, the Transparency Network Group, (TANGO), on Monday, raised the alarm over sharp practices ongoing at the biggest nation’s ports, in Apapa, Lagos State.
The group also lamented influx of over 300 trucks of finished products of roofing sheets into the country by some importers.
TANGO said the products were of low quality, gauge with wrong H.S Code 7905.0000.00 against the H.S. Code 7210.4100.00 and 7210.4910.00 for corrugated roofing sheets in a ship with the name; AMIX ELEGANCE which arrived Apapa Lagos Ports late last month.
The group said the items were meant for a raw material called magnesium ingots (zinc plates).
TANGO National Coordinator, Engr. Uche Okechukwu, who raised the alarm
advised the federal government of Nigeria to return the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), to the ports in a bid to ascertain the difference between raw materials and finished goods imported into the country under the guise of wrong declaration with connivance with officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
According to him, this has led to huge revenue loss by the federal government by evading duty with the support of custom officers at the detriment of the nation’s economy and local investors.
He said, “Nigeria economy is on the verge of total collapse if not urgently rescued”, stressing that there are lots of atrocities being perpetrated by some importers,” he said.
The group also corroborated the position of the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmed Lawan, who disclosed recently that “Nigeria cannot survive without borrowing” adding that the loss of revenue to importers is enormous and hazardous to the nation.
“To our dismay, the same importer had brought another large quantity of roofing sheets with a ship called; AMIS GLORY at the Apapa Lagos Port, thereby flouting and disregarding the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Our question is that, are there no competent custom officers who can differentiate between raw materials and finished products? In addition, is there nobody to inspect the ship at the point of loading to ascertain the items as contained in the manifests?
“This is gross sharp practices against the guidelines of the Standard Organization of Nigeria, (SON) by importing substandard products which deserve appropriate sanctions and measures to curtail this heinous crime against Nigerian economy.
“Our findings have shown that the documents presented for release of consignment at destination port were found to be fraught with under-invoicing and wrong declaration to the lowest duty rate with the intention of committing economic crimes against the people and government of Nigeria.
“Revenue evasion under Customs Excise Laws which is punishable under relevant sections full weight be brought to bear for their evasion of appropriate duties payment.”
The trading companies involved are; Buildgen Nigeria, H & C Steel Industry fze, Hilfort Business Ventures, Iron Products Ind. Ltd, Kinshimo Enterprises, Metalberg Manufacturing, Panda Industries fze and Steel Line Industries.
TANGO thereby request that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) and the Presidential Committee for Sharp Mal-practices (PTCMS) to investigate the genuinety of these importers to know if truly they are members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, (MAN) as well as the rationale behind the importation of finished goods into the country instead of manufacturing them locally and create jobs for our youths, thereby invading revenue of about N2billion monthly.