Reverend Jonathan Nicole, former President, Shippers Association of Lagos State (SALS) has applauded the Federal Government for lifting forex ban on 43 trading items
Nicole said this on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He, however, called on the government to create an attractive trading platform by ensuring an appreciable reduction of customs duties and levies.
Nicole said the purpose of the ports was mainly to collect customs duty, noting that unfortunately, government had put a lot more responsibilities on the importers in terms of unrelated levies.
He said that other incentive expected of government was to give concession rate of duty to importers who use their foreign currencies to improve the nation’s economy.
“The shipper pays customs duties, Value Added Tax, 7.5 per cent of Free on Board and Cost Insurance and Freight and port surcharges to get the VAT rate. It is exorbitant.
“Now the Shipping Lines are charging 30 per cent against the shipper for damaging their vessels because the protection aprons of the ports are bad, “he said.
Nicole said that the 30 per cent should be paid by Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) who ought to maintain the port aprons.
He said even with the release of the 43 items, the current exchange rate takes all the fun out of it as they had more debtors in the importers’ family now as never before.
“This development is a very good news for all. Rice for instance is about N60,000 a bag. Never in the history of Nigeria have we bought a bag of rice at that rate.
“With the lifting of ban on some essential commodities like rice and other products, importers will be glad to source for foreign exchange and commence business,” he said.