New Telegraph

Manufacturers seek relief as equipment import gulps $5.8bn

China takes $4.4bn lion’s share

As cost of importing machinery, mechanical appliances, nuclear reactors, boilers and spare parts hit $5.8billion, manufacturers in Nigeria have asked the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to intervene in the area of classification of goods, arbitrary increase in freight and insurance. Also, they said that NCS should mediate in the issuance of Pre-Arrival Assessment report (PAAR) on Semi Knocked Down (SKD) as Fully Built Units (FBU) and proper implementation of the fiscal policy.

In 2021, Nigeria imported some equipment, plants and other machineries valued at $4.4 billion from China. Data from international Trade Statistics (ITS) explained that the country also imported $668 million equipment, broiler and plants from Indian, while it imported $386 million manufacturing plant from United States and $347.7million from Italy. Worried by the sluggish delay at the port and wrong classification of impprts, the manufacturers said that NCS should intervene in the areas of seamless clearance of imports, export of raw materials and spare parts to boost the foreign exchange earnings.

The President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Engineer Mansur Ahmed, said in Abuja when he visited Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), that manufacturers were experiencing hard times due to the looming global economic meltdown occasioned by Covid-19 and the Russia-Ukraine Conflict. Also, Ahmed noted that the decline in crude oil revenue and lack of adequate supply of some critical goods among other reasons was precipitating almost a collapse in the economy. According to him, this section specifically reduces import duty for verifiable investors/manufacturers importing raw materials and other inputs to stimulate growth in critical sectors of the economy. However, Ali identified MAN as an important sector of the economy, noting that since oil could no longer sustain the economy, the manufacturing sector must be given serious attention.

He assured that Customs would proffer solutions to the issues raised as they are of uttermost benefit to the ultimate growth and development of the economy. He said: “I have directed all zonal coordinators to arrange monthly zonal meetings with MAN at different zones of the nation for deliberations on how to help the manufacturing sector to grow.” It would be recalled that in 2020 alone, no fewer than 500,000 containers laden with raw materials belonging to manufacturing companies and traders were trapped at the Tin Can Island and Lagos ports due to clumsy cargo clearance and gridlock on the port roads.

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