THE Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has urged the Federal Government to direct the Nigerian Maritime Safety Agency (NIMASA) to remit its collection on freight to the council.
It said it wants the 10 per cent commission it collected on freights since 1992 to the council.
The NEPC Chairman, Governing Board, Alhaji Abubakar Jathu made the appeal in Abuja recently when members of the board visited the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Jubril Martins-Kuye.
â€œThe provision of the NEPC amended Decree No. 64 of 1992 provided that 10 per cent of all levies on freights collected by NIMASA be paid to NEPC,â€ he pointed out.
He said that since the enactment of the decree in 1992, all efforts to ensure the release of the funds due to NEPC from NIMASA through dialogue, meetings and exchange of correspondences initiated by the council had yielded no results.
He added that the provision was made to address the problem of inadequate funding of the council through the ever declining annual budgetary provisions. â€œWe shall be grateful if the honourable minister intervenes in this regard,â€ he said.
Jathu also appealed to the minister to intervene to ensure the re-opening of NEPC Commercial Desks abroad.
He said that Nigeriaâ€™s Overseas Commercial Desks had always serve as useful links between Nigeriaâ€™s exporters and importers in other countries, thus contributing substantially to growth of non-oil export trade.
â€œIt is a known fact that these Overseas Commercial desks or trade centres is a standard practice and strategy in international trade, which is strongly recommended by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
â€œIt is in the light of this that we appeal to you to intervene by using your good offices to ensure that the commercial desks are re-opened,â€ he said.
NAN reports that the desks were closed in line with the directive to recall all trade, immigration, education, information attaches, in all Nigerian missions in 2004.
Responding, Martins-Kuye urged the board to get its acts together in view of the fact that the country was diverting its focus from oil to non-oil export, pledging that he would to take the commissionâ€™s case to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting for prompt action.