- August 19, 2023
- Posted by: Destiny Young
- Category: News
NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE MOVES TO IMPLEMENT INTEGRATION OF FREE TRADE ZONES
In a bid to expedite the nation’s economic growth, the Nigeria Customs Service is set to commence implementation of the integration of the Free Zones Entreprises.
Acting Comptroller-General of the Service, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi made this affirmation during the second joint meeting with the nation’s Free Zones Regulatory Authorities namely Oil & Gas Free Zones Authority – OGFZA led by Sen.Tijjanni Yahaha Kaura, MFR; and Nigeria Economic Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) led by Prof. Adesoji Adesugba; as well as the Nigeria Economic Zones (NEZ) Association and the Nigeria Customs Service; which held at the Service on Friday, 18th August 2023.
Recall that, at the inaugural joint meeting held at the Acting CGC’s office a few weeks ago, a committee was established to look into issues affecting the operations of Customs procedures in the Special Economic Zones.
Having identified the various issues, Chairman of the committee on Nigeria Customs Service Operations, Mr. Toyin Elegbede, presented the Committe’s report to the Acting CGC, enumerating six major issues highlighting specific issues that need urgent intervention of the Acting CGS while some other issues need follow-up consultations with relevant stakeholders in order to address them. He reported that these issues have adversely impacted the smooth operations of the Free Zones with correspondent loss to both the investors and the Nigeria Customs Service in terms of revenue.
Elegbede further disclosed that some Free Zones are currently inoperative due to directives from the NCS headquarters under the previous leadership.
Therefore, the committee recommended that the Ag. CGS should give immediate directives in order to restore normalcy in the Free Zones operations for the highlighted issues. Other recommendations include immediate integration of free zone enterprises into the NCS portal IM5 (5900) and redesigning it for sales from the Free Trade Zones (FTZs) to the Customs territory in order to avoid double taxation.
Other recommendations made by the committee include the formulation of SOPs and Procedure codes to ameliorate the issues confronting FZEs.
In his response, Acting CG Adeniyi expressed concern over the loss of revenue, reiterating that the objective of establishing Free Zones is to create a win-win situation for all parties involved. He assured the Committee of his support to commence a swift implementation of the integration of FZEs within next week.
Consequently, he proposed the setting up of an implementation team led by ACG Exise FTZ & I, ACG of NCS, Mr. Swomen. Others include members of the Standing Committee. They are Toyin Elegbede, Executive Secretary, NEZ Association, GM Operations, Adekunle Ajayi, AGM Special Duties, Morgan Mmahi, both of OGFZA; TA- MD, Muazu Ruma, Company Sec/Legal Adviser, Jane Tapgun; both of NEPZA and MD Lagos Free Zone, Dines Rathi.