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Nigeria Customs Service spearheads export boost with zero duty policy

Customs Area Controller outlines facilitation procedures as Nigeria seeks to strengthen its export economy

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In a bid to bolster Nigeria’s export economy, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is playing a pivotal role in ensuring the seamless flow of goods across borders. The Customs Area Controller of Lilypond Export Command, Comptroller Ajibola Odusanya, shared insights into the NCS procedures for facilitating export trade during an interview with an NCBN correspondent on Wednesday, November 1, 2023.

Describing the Command as a “one-stop shop for export business,” Comptroller Odusanya highlighted the current government policy that mandates zero duty payment for exports. He clarified that exporters typically don’t pay export duties, except in special cases where goods are re-exported, requiring a 2.5 percent levy on the current value of the goods with government permission.

Providing a comprehensive data analysis, Comptroller Odusanya revealed that from January to the end of September 2023, the Lilypond Export Command facilitated the export of 12,438 containers, including 6524 × 20-foot containers and 5914 × 40-foot containers, with a FOB value totaling $518,690,852.93. The exported goods encompassed agricultural produce, locally manufactured items, solid minerals, and various commodities.

While stakeholders acknowledged the efficiency of Customs officers in document processing, they urged increased manpower from other government agencies stationed at the export terminal to streamline clearance processes. Comrade Augustine Umunnakwe, Maritime Union Chairman at Lilypond Export Terminal Unit, emphasized the need for representatives of government agencies to be present at the terminal to enhance efficiency.

Abdulsalam Babatunde, Head of Processing at Diamond Star Port and Terminal Limited, highlighted the collaborative efforts between export processing terminals, shipping lines, and government agencies, ensuring the smooth flow of exports with a focus on quality and quantity.

Emmanuel Ekle, Principal Trade Promotion Officer at the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Southwest, emphasized the seamless online registration process for exporters and the council’s support for trade promotion activities and export incentives. The collective efforts aim to strengthen Nigeria’s position in the global export market.

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