The federal government yesterday disclosed that it would commence the enforcement of the revised export and import guidelines from January 1, 2018.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun stated this in her keynote address at a sensitisation workshop on “Understanding the Nigerian 2017 Revised Export and Import Guidelines, Procedures and Documentation Requirements,” that took place in Lagos.
The minister, who was represented by the Director, Home Finance, at the Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Olubunmi Siyanbola, however, pointed out that goods already loaded for shipment to Nigeria prior to the implementation date would not be affected by the palletisation policy.
“Let me also say that we have examined all concerns expressed by the trading public regarding the palletisation policy of the government.
“The list of categories of goods that may be exempted from palletisation, where it is absolutely necessary will be placed on the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Nigeria Customs Service shortly,” she explained.
According to the minister, the workshop was essential because stakeholders, especially those directly involved in the export and import value chains, needed to have adequate understanding of the guidelines for ease of compliance.
She stressed that the present administration was assiduously working towards ensuring ease of business, saying government’s efforts had started yielding fruit.
Adeosun cited the country’s improvement in the recent World Bank Ease of Doing Business report where Nigeria moved up 24 points from 169th position in 2017, to 145th position in the 2018 World Bank report.
“Finally, let me seize this opportunity to call on all stakeholders in the import and export trade value chains to study the guidelines and play their respective roles effectively.
“Let us show mutual understanding as all hands are expected to be on deck to promote formal trading across the Nigerian borders.
“The guidelines may be perfect to address all concerns, but government will monitor its implementation closely to address emerging hiccups and unforeseen situations,” Adeosun said.
Earlier in his address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mamoud Isa-Dutse, said with respect to importation, the present government had taken steps towards ensuring 24-hours clearance of cargoes using cutting-edge technology.
To this end, Isa-Dutse, whose speech was read by the Director of Information, Minister of Finance, Salisu Na’inna Dambatta, said “efforts are ongoing to revive and upgrade the scanning system as a short-term measure, pending the acquisition of modern high definition scanners.”