Stakeholders in the maritime industry have kicked against the proposed merger of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). Rising from an extra-ordinary meeting of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) in Lagos at the weekend, its President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, said the core mandate of the NCS is not revenue generation but trade facilitation in an increasingly technology-driven world.
To him, the difference between the two agencies is much and they cannot work together because of coordinated border management and the need to simplify the multiple regulations and inspections at porous border stations across the country.
The Act which established the NCS, he added, is quite different from that of the FIRS and a new Act is needed ‘to marry the two strange bed-fellows together.’ He said what the Federal Ministry of Finance and the FIRS needed to do was to create a joint pro-business environment that would balance the needs of revenue collection and the facilitation of trade. Read more