30,000 job losses loom as Customs, importers lose N110bn in 30days

The federal government has been advised to urgently probe into the circumstances which has led to the huge loss of revenue in the tune of N110billion within the last one month due to inability of Importers to clear their consignments at the ports.

The Transparency Awareness Group (TANGO) in a letter of protest addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, signed by its National Co-ordinator, Mr. Frank Nzeogwu, on Tuesday raised the alarm over the imminent collapse of the nation’s economy.

The group also noted that about 30,000 jobs may soon be lost to the ugly situation if not quickly arrested.

He noted that Nigerians are suffering in the hands of Webb Fontaine Group, a consultant appointed by Nigeria Customs Service to implement a Customs centric Single Window Portal and the provision of IT & Telecom infrastructure for the nation in a bid to ensuring easy access to clearing of consignments at the port, unfortunately, the roles of the firm really negates the revenue drive of the federal government.

According to the letter, ” At the moment, there is huge backlog of consigments meant to boost the nation’s production capacities in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic stocked at the nation’s port. Importers have lost about N10billion to demurrage charges while the Customs Service and other government agencies have lost about N100billion to duty and other essential charges in the last two months.

“This complaint becomes pertinent due to the fact that nations of the world are currently adopting holistic economic policies capable of overhauling the revenue drive, improve socioeconomic as well as infrastructural development in quick response to the urgent need for ease-of -doing business mechanism occasioned by the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic globally and Nigeria is not an exemption.

“This is a great sabotage against the federal government especially the economic advisory team, the Minister for Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investments, Otunba Niyi Adebayo as well as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele despite their efforts towards stimulating the nation’s economy.

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