By Oluyinka Onigbinde
The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) has urged the incoming administration to prioritize trade facilitation, noting that the Nigerian economy is in a stumbling and fragile state and in dire need of a new direction.
The CPPE in its economic agenda for the new administration and a copy f which was obtained by our correspondent stated that the new administration should establish quality economic governance consistent with tested economic principles and empirical evidence, and contextualized within socio-economic peculiarities.
The CPPE in a paper titled: “Economic Agenda for Incoming Administration” and signed by its CEO and Director Dr. Muda Yusuf stated that the new administration must ensure a tariff regime that adequately protects local industries.
While adding that import duty on intermediate products and critical industrial inputs should be reviewed to reduce production costs.
It further stated that tariff review processes should be more inclusive and transparent, urging the new administration to prioritize trade facilitation and removal of all non-tariff barriers to trade.
The Centre further implores the administration to ensure the removal of all Customs checkpoints within the country, while also stating that the practice of intercepting cargoes that have been duly cleared at any of the ports be discontinued as he said the practice has been proven to be extortionist.
CPPE also urged that the practice of appointing non-career persons as Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) should be stopped stressing that the practice is detrimental to professionalism and morale of career officers in the Customs service.
It reads in parts: “Good economic governance framework would entail the following: Setting up a Transition Committee on the Economy to come with propositions of what needs to be done differently and ensure the delivery quick wins in the first one month of the administration.
“Technically sound economic team to give guidance and direction on general economic policy direction, policy conceptualization and urgent reforms. An economy where there is a level playing field for all players with a transparent economic policy formulation process.
“Competitive economic environment with minimum monopoly dominance. Expand the role of markets for value delivery and boosting of private enterprise in the economy. State institutions do not have the capacity to manage enterprises. Robust monitoring and evaluation framework to regularly review the effectiveness and impact of economic policies and regulatory practices.
“Robust and regular stakeholder engagement by key government agencies to ensure proper alignment of policies with investors’ sentiments. Government institutions that play technical roles should be headed by tested technocrats.
“Ensure a Tariff regime that adequately protects local industries. Import duty on intermediate products and critical industrial inputs should be reviewed to reduce production costs. Tariff review processes should be more inclusive and transparent. The administration should prioritize trade facilitation and removal of all non-tariff barriers to trade.
“Removal of all customs checkpoints within the country. The practice of intercepting cargoes that have been duly cleared at any of our ports should be discontinued. The practice has been proven to be extortionist. The practice of appointing non-career persons as Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service should be stopped. It is detrimental to professionalism and morale of career officers in the customs service.
“There should be a balance between the revenue objectives and trade facilitation objectives of the Nigeria customs service. There is currently a disproportionate focus on revenue generation” it reads.
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