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low scanning capacity utilisation threatens trade facilitalion-ANlCA

8,

P'ranc.ls Ezem

'T'hc: Association of Nigerian 1 Licensed Customs Agcnlll IANCLA) has aaid that the low level of utiUution of Installed ICLUlmnl capacity at the nation'. waporta conlllitulc1l

a major threat to trade facilnalion in the country. The Managing Director of Cotecna OeaunaUOn Inspection Lirmled. Tayo Rabiu, • mllJOT service provider under the Nigeria 's Dellunation Inspectlon Scheme had said recently lhalJess than 2S percent Installed capacity of

the aamncn: an: utilised, an mdlcalJon that many of them an: prac tically lying idle Meanwhile, the Nigeria Customs Service carnes out 100 percent physical

examinatJon on

0Vf!T

80 pe-n:ent of Imported containerised goods into the

country under the pretext that most of the importeIll an: not compliant, claiming that many of them are neckd~p Into under-decJaratJon. concealment and under-

invoicinl aimed at rvadms duty payment Nallonal prcludmt of the

auoc:iation, Pnnce OlaYJwoia Shlttu, who under look. toUT of the TID Can bland Port as part of measuretl to address some of thl!' challenges faced by hIS membus. regretted that most of the scanners at thl!' ports W'I!'f'C grossly underutilised HI!' noted that a situatK)n wherl!'.by the scanners acknowledged world-wide in the supply c hain as equipment ilial faCilitate trade are not put mto UM' does not speak good of the Nlgrna's port system Acconhng to him. pnor to the visit to the command. the leadership of the assoaatlon had held a clORd-rloor meeting WIth members of the auociatlon at the command,

identified aeveral challenges. Some of the challenges apart from the low utilisation of the IJCIU1ners include, delibentte distortion of the standard valuation system by offi~ and men of the Customs InteWgent Unit at the command and rampant breakdown of the server that connects the CUstoms Processing Centre and the temunal, which causes delay in the procening of cargo. as the agents arc compdled to walt for the serveJ' to come up. It was gathered that as a result of the non-utilisation of the acannera and the malfunctioning of the server, wb.tch lead to delay in goods clearance, the agents and thdr importers are meant to pay demurrage on the caTBOCs even though they are not the cause of the delay. Other challenges include lateness of IIOme officers and men of the service. lack of space In the terminals. which leads to re.-routing of the affected con signments to other ports or terminals. under which the importers or agents are meant to beaT the cost of the transfer, among .everal others. He told the CUstoms area controller. IBah Nuhu thai all the challengCII Identified by his members hinder trade facilitation and therdOrl!'., urged to address these issues In order to allow trade to ftourish In the country While commcndmg the controller for the leadership quahLJes he had ahibited in his sbort stay at the command, Shlttu regretted that the operat"'es of the mteWgence unit had taken over the job of the valuation officers. a devdopment that delays speedy cargo rl!'.lcase. The ANLCA-boss had also alleged that the security agencies such as the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control and the Standards Orpnlsation ofNlgcria ejected from the ports last year on the onkn; of the pres1dency had Since returned to the port, alleging that the CAC inVlted them back through a memo to partlcipate in examination of

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He. ho ....-ever. pledged on Ixhalf of members of the association at the command Lbat they will comply WIth the government's fiscal policies Implemented by the service and th~fore called for a cordial and harmonious rdaoonshlp among all the stakeholders. Comptroller Nuhu, who In response commended the leadership of the association for striVIng to enhance professionalism, said 1 CIU officers are empowered to rejcct valUation even if the

value is wrong.

Imo to disburse N400m loans to farmers 1\ rrangements have been nconcludtd to disburse N400 million agricultural loans to fanners in tmo State. The State Commissioner (or Agriculture. Adaora ljezie , who disclosed this in Qv.-eni, said that cheques would soon be inued to beneftciaries in the state to access the fund _ The commilSiontt explained that the rund ....s the remaining 40 percent of the Central Bank of Niseria ICBN) agricultural loan granted to the state before the present administration came into office. She said that the loans wouJd be distributed to $lDallscale farmers a t a low intC"eSt rate, pointing oul that the previous administration had already disbursed about 60 per ccnL "We have decided to ensure that the loans get to the peasant (armel'S this time around because it is not meant for commerclaJ farmenl. AU the beneficiaries are being gh'al surety by their respective traditional ruJers to ensure lbal genuine peasant farmers gel It and this measure will guarantee easy repayment: she said. The commissioner said that the Rochas Okoroc:haled administration had keyed into the Agricultural Transronnation Agenda of the Federal Government IJCZle I18Jd that in this regard. the state government decided to give concession to Roche Group. an international conglomerate to transform and run the moribund Adapa1m Plantation ror 15 years. She sald that the initiative had camed the state ~ment N3.2 billion which had been ploughed back Into other projects , while commercial palm oil production had commenced in

the plantation She said that Adapalm plantation. renamed Irno palm plantation had provided employment for 2000 youths, addmg that it wouJd provide employment for 5000 youths in due course. The commissioner said that the present admlnl.tration had taken steps to revolutionise palm plantation in the state by inSisting that every resident must plant at lea.t one palm

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ljez:ie said that the overa1I sun was to ensure that Imo reclaimed its enviable position in palm produce m the country.

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Customs intercept poultry foods worth over N15m

'T'he Nigeria CUstoms Service l INCS) , Federal Operations Unit Zone 'A' have intercepted about 2,590 canons of dm~nt poUltry foods with a Duty Paid value (OPV) of over NIS million Dan Ugo. controUer of the Unit, while talong some rep~tatives of the Nigerian Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDACI round the destruction site revealed that the command captured msde use of mtelligence based information to capture the smugglers and got hold of the conlmband goods. According to him, the urgent need to protect local fanners and create JObs for Nige1ian youths infonned the latest seizure. thus. ¡the unit i. detennined to enforce full compliance with the headquarttts' direcllve on u::ro tolerance for the importation of poultry products" He assured NIgerians that the unit will ensure the sustenana: of the campaign rumed at suppressmg smuggling to Its barest mimmum . lie further advised Importenl oftbe poultry foods 10 venture Inlo more reasonable enterpri.c in order to avoid financial losses from that may ariae from seizure

CON, others laud Actionaid on capacity building drives in agric sector Stories by Tola AldnmuUmI IAb",a, 'T'he Central Bank of Nigeria 1 tCBN) has lauded Actionaid Nigeria, the Nigerian ann of an international nongovernmental orsanisation working in cn.'et -40 countries to end pcn.'Uty and injustice, for sustaining its national programmCII aimed at alleviating poverty and economic empowerment of the poor. particularly those that focus on agricultural sector. GivinS the commendauon at the Capacity building TraininS on ComprehenSlV'C Africa Agriculture Development ICAADPJ Toollnt orgaru.-cd by the NOO for Non-State Acton INSA)lasl week in Abuja, the CBN reprHCJ1tative, Dr Polycarp lahaku. said efforu by the organisation to build capacity in the agricultural sector would go a long way In complementing sundry mitiatives of the bank to improV'C productivity. job creation and other valueadding benefits in agriculture sector. He said: -It is our honour to be associated With a wonderful progmmme like this bec:ause the CBN believes in Issues or Ideas that will promote the agriculture sector CON has tn the ~t 30 years been supportive of the agru: sector through financial intermediation. As the apex regulatory body for the financial sector. we facilitate credit to the sector If you consider the lending of banka to agric over the years, it has been ao low. In fac t. In the past two years. It was just 1.4 per cent of credit flow that goes to agnc. But as at last year, it rose to 2. I per Ct'nt. So, the CBN has been supportmg the sector through the Agricultural Credit Support Scheme, With the CACS and the recent NIRSAL: he said


NATIONAL MIRROR, 25 JUNE, 2012