February 7, 2023

Quits Aviation, Customs move to end bureaucracy in int’l trade

By Prince Okafor

Nigeria traders in the coming days will witness less processing time for import and export operations as the Nigerian Customs set up a new command at the Quits Aviation Services Free Trade Zone, FTZ, centre.

Quits Aviation FTZ accommodates enterprises like ExecuJet Aviation Nig. FZE, Legend Hotel (Hilton Collections), Anap Jets, Gyro Air, amongst others.

Speaking at the commissioning, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Quits Aviation Services Limited, Sam Iwuajoku, stated that bureaucracy remains one of the major challenges faced by businesses utilising the terminals.

He said: “Before now, when we have goods, and the bill of laden comes in, we usually write to Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA, and NEPZA then writes to the MMA Customs command.

“On getting there, knowing the bureaucracy challenge in the country, something that is supposed to take one hour or even 30 minutes to process, you discover that it will take a day or four days.

“This delay creates huge losses for us as well as companies that want to move their goods. Sometimes the delay causes damage to perishable goods. The major problems we have at the ports both Tican ports are caused by human factors.

“I do not see any reason why a container will arrive in Nigeria’s ports and the Customs will inspect the goods and conclude every necessity, and when it gets out of the port, another unit of customs will stop it and start another inspection.

“When you go to some countries, something that is supposed to take 30 minutes, takes days in Nigeria. It is discouraging and that is why in Nigeria we are losing investors, they rather go to Ghana where they will not get all this ‘red tape’. In Nigeria, we are causing ourselves problems.

“These are the challenges we have in the country, and all this adds to the cost of doing business here.

“Setting up a Customs command here cuts off all this ‘red tape’, so we will no longer experience those issues.

“We deal majorly with spare parts for aircraft that are on ground, those parts are needed urgently. With the command here, it expedites our processing and results and everything. This is a very welcome development for us and Nigeria at large.”

On her part, the Controller FTZ, Customs, Yisa Omogbehin, said: “We are glad that we have a free trade zone here.

“Our vision is to facilitate trade in Nigeria, and we believe this will help us achieve it going forward.”