By Godfrey Bivbere & Providence Emmanuel
THE Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, has called for the placement of the 81 import items restricted from access to Central Bank of Nigeria’s foreign exchange resources to be included on the contraband list.
In an exclusive chat with Vanguard Maritime Report, National President of ANLCA, Tony Iju Nwabunike, also called for the Federal Government to allow Form “M” already opened before the new policy requirement to be exempted from the implementation.
Nwabunike noted that the exemption of the 81 items is actually the business of those involved in their importation.
He explained that government makes the importers source for foreign exchange from the black market only to turn around to make them declare such funds through the opening of Form “M”.
According to him, “The new policy is a system which the CBN is trying to use to checkmate the influx of forex rate issue and capital flight.
“People have actually opened Form “M” on third party arrangement and it was not illegal at the point they did that. So if they want to do that, they must change the policy and allow a Form “M” that has been open for one year to be utilised.
“They should have that system to utilise because so many Form “Ms” have been opened before the policy was introduced. “The first time they did it, it was 41 items but now, it is 81. The situation on ground is that they are allowing the importers to go source forex and then mop out all the funds that CBN has been using in the black market, which is not correct.
“Yet they would open a Form “M” on that issue. What they would have done is to give them a way forward on how to source or put those things in a serious contraband list as contraband, so we know it is contraband.
“You cannot ask a trader to go and source fund to import as you want him to do and then force him to open another Form “M”. It is a double tragedy,” he said.