The Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has expressed dismay that some importers could be bold enough to import goods already branded made in Nigeria from foreign countries.
The industry watchdog has therefore urged the importers and clearing agents to ensure full compliance with the Ease of Doing Business, and guide against malpractices that could compromise trade facilitation in the country.
The Managing Director, SON, Osita Anthony Aboloma, who disclosed this at a stakeholders’ forum tagged: “Ease of Doing Business & Exports: Imperatives of Standardisation” in Lagos yesterday said, the agency is determined to fully implement the new policy and would therefore not tolerate false declarations from importers.
Aboloma, who was represented by the Director, Compliance and Enforcement, SON, Bede Obayi, said: “We have always ensure that the policies of Ease of Doing Business is enforced, but we have been having issues whereby people import substandard products and expect us to give it express clearance.
“We have some people that also bringing in manufactured products from another country and brand it made in Nigeria. We will not allow this to continue. We cannot sit down and allow Nigerians consume products that will kill them,” he said.
National President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Increase Uche, said applauded SON for the event, which he said was timely, especially when the Federal government is putting measures that would ensure that all hindrances to smooth flow of trade is removed.
Uche said border protection by security agencies has also become imperative in other to check illicit trade in offensive goods that threatens life and property, while corruption and other vices like non compliance to trade rule, false declaration and concealments needs to be curtailed.
National Publicity Secretary, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Kayode Farinto, said the Ease of Doing Business is a laudable project, but may not be achievable due to the poor business environment and corrupt practices by agencies at the ports.
Farinto said government is putting the cart before the horse, saying that they should have fixed the ports access roads and empower the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) to regulate the sector.
“All of these are pointing at the fact that we have people who are not capable at the helms of affairs, that is why I am always accusing the customs of arm-twisting the importers. If the legal framework is done and the NSC can bite, also when the roads are fixed, then everything will fall into place and the Ease of Doing Business at ports will be progressive,” he said.