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Border Closure: Amiwero writes Buhari, seeks solution on genuine stranded goods

Whereas the Federal Government continues to insist that the nearly three months land border closure is gainful to the economy, indications have emerged that legitimate goods currently stranded at the borders have built unprecedented losses on owners.

More insights on the costs of the border closure on genuine goods which had before the unilateral closure, undergone legal process of Form ‘M’, transaction payment of duty and transit clearance, are contained in a letter written by National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr Lucky Amiwero to the presidency.

The letter, copied to Business Hilights said in parts: “We hereby appeal for the Federal Government’s intervention on goods held up at the borders in which most of them are covered under import clearance procedure.

“They have obtained From ‘M’, issued with Pre-Arrival Assessment report (PAAR), paid import duty and have undergone transit clearance in line with the import guideline covered under Section 3 of the Pre- shipment Inspection Act that authorized the process.

“Some of the goods held up at the border are legal originating goods from third country covered under common external tariff, that has been subjected to legal import guideline procedures, with some of the goods issued, with Form ‘M’, import duty paid made while awaiting normal exit clearance to assess Nigerian corridor.

“At the time of most importation and process of those goods at the border, there was no circular restricting the goods, which was done almost immediately.

Chairman of Eyis Resources Limited and NCMDLCA boss, Mr Lucky Amiwero

“The closure should have been backed by a circular to the trading public before the closure, so as to comply with Section 18 of the Customs and Excise Management Act C 45 of 2004, the (WCO) Kyoto Convention Chapter 9 and WTO Article X, which address trade information in advance, these should have eliminated the present difficulties experience by the trading public on the stranded goods.

“Furthermore, most goods that are still at the border are on the top of the trailers accruing demurrages and rent in the port at the country of transit, after obtaining Form ‘M’ and shipment is expected to transit to Nigeria,” he stated.

Amiwero further advised the presidency to among other things, set up committee to check the legitimate goods that followed Nigerian import laws to allow their entry as a way of relieving the trading public from huge demurrage cost and rents.

According to him, “We hereby appeal as respected member of Presidential and Ministerial Committee on Customs Reform, Destination Inspection Committee, Import Clearance Procedures, and feel concerned about the huge lost that is occasioned by the border closure.”

Chairman of Eyis Resources Limited and NCMDLCA boss argued further that “While we are not contesting the fact that lot of unwholesome practice exist at the border we appeal to the Federal Government to look into the complexities of the closure and address legitimate importers/ Licensed Customs Agent to relief them of the present burden of cost and save lives.”