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Agbakoba’s thoughts on Customs’ revenue generation and trade facilitation responsibility

By Olisa Agbakoba

The Nigeria Customs Service is doing well with generating revenue for the Federal Government (See here). But, while doing that, it must also be seen to perform well at balancing its operations by ensuring trade facilitation.

I am shocked that Col. Hameed could say that since the border was closed they now get about N12 to N15 billion extra a day and not worry improving facilitation so that they can balance both.

Revenue is crucial. You can’t dispute that. There is nothing wrong with Customs making money for the government, but they also need to enhance their skills.

The fact that there is manual inspection at the port, you know the kind of delays it causes? And that is why our ports are not attractive.

Eight out of 10 containers coming to the Central West African region are for Nigeria. But they would rather divert to other ports and then begin to smuggle. So, the only way to do it is to ensure that trade facilitation framework is super-efficient.

Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN is Senior Partner at Olisa Agbakoba Legal. He is a renowned maritime lawyer and a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association.  


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