The Acting National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Dr. Farinto Collins Kayode a frontline presidential candidate in the forth coming NECOM election has assured his members, as well as the freight forwarding community that if elected as ANLCA’s. National President, he will work with the Federal Government to address the wrongs affecting the freight forwarding profession.
Farinto who lamented how Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders who are the revenue generators to the Federal government in the maritime industry have been relegated to the background and are suffering despite their huge contributions to the economy, said this during his team campaign rally at the Apapa premier port in Lagos State on Tuesday.
Speaking to a tumultuous crowd of supporters and stakeholders at the Apapa port gate , he promised to make tremendous impacts if elected within 90 days.
“If we don’t improved on your conditions within 90 days, stone us”, Farinto assured.
He said at times like this when things are getting more and more difficult in the country with the fuel subsidy removal and the floating of the Naira with uncertainty in the exchange rate, ANLCA more than ever before needs who will champion the course of the members. He noted that “with the removal of the subsidy and floating of the Naira, Nigeria’s import has dropped by over 35%.
According to him, ” the government have promised workers increase in salary and a lot more palliatives to the ordinary Nigerians to cushion pains of Nigerians at this time. For the Customs Brokers, who is speaking for you?. You need somebody to speak for you. We have so many challenges in the freight forwarding profession. I have taken it upon myself to advance your course.
“I have encapsulated about five MITIGANTS of which am presenting to the Federal government. First on the agenda is that since the Exchange Rate is now going to be determined by the market forces, government will have to remove the 15% Import Adjustment Levy on imported vehicles to cushion the effects of the spiraling exchange rate on importers and their agents. This Levy was originally meant for new vehicles imported into the country. I don’t see the reason why is being charged on used vehicles. We will asked the government to look into that.
“The second is ending the wrong calculation of Value Added Tax (VAT). The VAT being a Consumption Tax means that if you are importing a container load of phones, the VAT should be charged on the Free on Board (FoB) value. But this is not how they are calculating it; somebody needs to tell the government that they are over-charging us,” Farinto said.
He said that year in, year out the Nigeria Customs Service declare huge revenues for which government gives them percentage while the revenue is actually been generated by the Custom Brokers, while the Customs Service midwifes the generation of the revenue.
“if the one who midwifes the collection of the revenue is given a percentage, the one who generates it also deserves to be given a percentage. Under my watch, making that a reality will be pushed to the National Assembly with facts and data of over seven years of revenue, to show that if the Customs Broker is given a percentage of the revenue he generated in 2022, he will generate more in 2023. No Customs Broker will allow any importer to cheat the government if he is paid a percentage of what he collects at the end of the year,” Farinto said.
He further stated that contrary to what is obtainable in other climes, foreigners come to Nigeria and they take over the clearing jobs meant for Nigerians. Those foreign companies go inside our ports to do clearing jobs, that why today no singular Nigerian is doing any Project Cargo the foreigners have taken them over. They produce the good, import it clear it and warehouse it. That practice cannot continue under my watch.
Farinto also said that his administration will ensure that the Customs Brokers Institute Bill is passed by the National Assembly because Customs Brokerage is a distinct profession that does not need to be in Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
He said his administration will collaborate with the government, “they will have their revenue, but they should let the Custom Brokers have sanity.
Also speaking, the Vice Presidential Candidate, Chief Dennis Okwu promised that if the team is elected, ANLCA and the Customs Brokers profession will be known and heard everywhere and never again will anybody or organizations take them for a ride. He assured that the Dr Farinto Collins team is the best to lead ANLCA at this period.
Other candidates in the Farinto’s team also gave good accounts of themselves and assured their supporters that if they are collectively elected into office as a team, they will surely deliver quality service to the association and stakeholders in general.