CUSTOMS, NIMASA, FIRS MERGER WILL FURTHER IMPEDE EASE OF DOING BUSINESS — APFFLON
By Mcanthony Onuoha
Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria-APFFLON has advised the Federal Government to carry out comprehensive scrutiny of every proposal before its implementation to avoid further administrative catastrophe.
The advice came while reacting to the proposal by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Policy Advisory Council that Customs, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and Federal Inland Revenue Service be merged into the Nigerian Revenue Service.
The Advisory Council, recently, recommended the declaration of a state of emergency on revenue generation in the country.
According to the council, the proposed merger would enable an efficient collection of all direct and indirect taxes, as well as levies on behalf of the Federal Government.
In his reaction, the National President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, said that merging the three agencies of government would encourage corruption and create unnecessary bottlenecks when there is renewed clamour for ease of doing business across the globe.
According to Ogunojemite, “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration must not fail to assemble experts to x-ray every economic policy to know how best it would benefit the country before its implementation. He must not sacrifice good governance on the alter of nepotism, we need round pegs in round holes if at all we sincerely need to progress as a nation. I believe that the council means well but the merger will not yield positive results”.
“The policy will impede ease of doing business as process requirements could become cumbersome.
The policy can as well negatively affect the African Continental Free Trade Agreement- AfCFTA and even jeopardize the Single Window policy of the Nigeria Customs.”
According to submissions made by the National Economy Sub-Committee, the policy will be aided by the passage of an Emergency Economic Reform Bill which will grant the President special powers to drive the economic reform agenda an d support the delivery of sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
Finally, Ogunojemite advised the committee to seek stakeholders inputs and not forget the 2019 International Monetary Fund- IMF report on the economy and Nigerian Ports Reforms