Forex: Aniebonam Commends Tinubu
By Okezie Nnadi
After passionate appeal to release rice imports and goods seized by the Nigeria customs service, the consequences of ill and inappropriate actions of the CBN governor Mr Godwin Emefiele during his tenure.
Hon minister sir, we shall start our passionate appeal to your esteem office by thanking and congratulating mr president for taking a popular trade related decisions to reverse the overzealous nature of mr Godwin Emefiele during his tenure as the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria.
It is already in the public domain that the new CBN governor had made it clear that he will be concentrating on monetary policy of the apex bank other than dabbling into fiscal policy trade. We can authoritatively say that a Daniel has come to judgement. Once again congratulations and thanks to mr president for making appropriate appointments inline with his mantra new hope for Nigeria
Hon minister sir it is common to understand that human beings are prone to mistakes even though in the case mr Godwin Emefiele it is nothing other than abuse of power and corruption. It is to us that government must take responsibility to reverse itself and leverage the avoidable loss of investments by innocent investors and shippers of rice importation and related 43 items of trade goods
Hon minister let us briefly take you to the atrocities committed by mr Godwin Emefiele and the immediate past comptroller General of the Nigeria customs service col Hamid Ibrahim Ali. In the case of mr Godwin Emefiele he had no reasons not to contact the customs board to advise him on the subject matter of delisting rice importation and the 43 items from forex benefits inrelation to customs laws. If he did it is our belief that the customs would have advised him most appropriately and professionally.
On the part of the customs it is most unfortunate that the former customs boss had a limited knowledge about customs matters and international trade. Even when his attention was drawn to the provisions of the customs laws trade matters his mind was already made to seize rice importation in particular.
Hon minister sir, it is a fact that rice and the 43 items delisted from forex benefits are not among goods fallen under prohibition list and or absolute prohibition. Indeed it is also a fact every import into Nigeria must have a registered form M in any of the authorised commercial bank for the purposes of trade data and statistics.
But here again the extant law of the Nigeria customs service is superior to executive order of mr Godwin Emefiele seating at CBN. Under cema the provisions for remedy are provided under the circumstances. Please see section 27 of the customs and excise mgt act as amended then.
Under this section the Nigeria customs service has the powers to deal with imports whose documentation is incomplete and penalty thereto applied . The situation was so simple to mitigate noting that destination inspection trade policy is in force. This is coupled with the fact that the pre arrival assessment report of the customs is advisory.
And so there were no reasons to confiscate and seize rice imports and the 43 items of innocent traders. Indeed we all know the existence of bill for collection in our foreign trade transactions . Hon minister why are we so wicked to each other and or just to show power and authority
Honestly Nigerians must remain very greatful to the officers and men of the customs always to deploy discretional powers in carrying out their statutory duty. Otherwise i wonder what could have happen to trade in Nigeria if they have the mindset of the likes of mr Godwin Emefiele and the retired Cgc Hamid Ali Ibrahim.
Having said all these to the honorable minister and the comptroller General of customs, we urge you to approach mr president to grant amnesty to all the people that their goods were seized and still within the custody of the Nigeria customs service to take delivery of their imports. This is because the customs do not have reasons to seize such goods in the first instance . The were not banned and never breached customs laws and or trade policy.
We want to believe that the rightful owners will want and be ready to pay appropriate customs duty and any other surcharge thereto and take delivery of their goods. It is even to the advantage of revenue due to the government than sale of auction.
Above all Nigerians shall be most grateful to mr president listening to the yearnings of suffering Nigerians. This equally a most appropriate opportunity to cushion the effect of oil subsidy.