By Godfrey Bivbere
Federal institutions in the country must embark of strict monitoring of export to ensure that the economy derives full economic benefit as some exports are not documented.
Vanguard Maritime Report gathered that most of the goods exported through the borders are done unofficially and, therefore, are not recorded for the economy. This also affects the volume of the contribution of export to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP at the end of every year.
Vanguard Maritime Report also gathered that some goods, especially foodstuff, are being exported by Nigerians unofficially to Europe and the United States of America, USA.
Speaking on the issue, Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Madu Yusuf, to Vanguard Maritime Report that informal export takes place mostly at the sub-regional trade level.
Yusuf explained that most Nigerian manufactured goods are found in countries in the sub-region because of the informal trade and are not recorded by the economy.
According to him, “Most of the trade in the Sub-region is done informally. When you go across the West African countries you will see so many made in Nigerian goods, especially manufactured goods.
“So the challenges of documentation across boards can be very frustrating. I am talking of the West African Sub-region because the informal trade is striving and most of the informal trade are not documented.
“For other export not being captured by our institutions, I think it is a function of the quality of our institutions because if they do what they should do without compromising there is no reason why those things should not be captured.
“Sometimes the exchange rate policy can hinder people from proper declaration before we had the Import/export (I/E) window because if you brought in your export proceed, you would be compelled to exchange it at the rate far lower than the market rate.
So many people were not declaring but now that we have the I/E window, a lot of people are declaring their exports. If people are not declaring it must be that people around the borders, the seaport or the airport or wherever are compromising.
“It is when people compromise that others do not comply with the rules. The challenge is more with our institutions, especially the Customs to do what they need to do. It is like smuggling, smuggling goods out of the country, just like we are having the problem of smuggling goods into the country.
I know it is an institutional problem that is why people can do whatever they like. So we must strengthen our institutions. They need to also demonstrate greater integrity in their work, then our trade policy must also be right,” he noted.
Chairman of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Olumide Fakanlu, said there are a lot of exports going on presently that is not done officially.
He stressed the need for the CBN to enforce stricter monitoring of export out of the country to ensure that the income from such transactions is repatriated and captured by the economy.
According to him, “We should be able and ready to embark on aggressive exportation as against the present craze for import items, originally not just export without the necessary documentation and necessary benefits to the country.
“Many of the exports do not pass through the normal processes and are of no benefit to Nigeria because you cannot record it as income to the economy. The CBN to has to monitor because it is supposed to come back to the country.
If money is being remitted back to the country that will then be part of our productivity and it is then we can now say one dollar is equal to one naira. Properly monitoring will help our small and medium scale enterprises to grow,” he noted.