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Agents groan under crippling cargo cost at Seme border

By GODWIN ORITSE

LAGOS—THE upward review of revenue target of N800 billion  given to the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS,  by the Federal Government to N1trillion by the service’s high command is negatively affecting importation of goods through the Seme border as agents and importers are groaning over the high cost of cargo at the border town.

It would  be recalled that the Customs Service early in the year introduced the  bench mark rate for the payment of duties,  a development that agents kicked against.

According to maritime experts, the development, if not checked,  will negatively affect affect the revenue target of the  Seme border Command of the Custom Service for the year.

At a briefing, at Seme, Alhaji Bisiriyu Lasisi, Managing Director/CEO of one of the affected freight forwarding firms,  said it had been observed that most importers of goods have deserted Seme border because of high cost of clearing consignments.

Lasisi  said importation of  goods through the border is no longer profitable. He said: “Importing goods through Seme border is like double charges, you have to detach in Cotonou and trans-load before transporting it to Lagos.”

He explained that the situation has led to a lull in business  at the border.

Mr. Uche Akpala,  an importer noted that the revenue target  of  Seme Customs Command of N9.6 billion for the year, may be responsible for  jacked-up duties and levies by over 100 per cent, while business is now very difficult to transact.


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