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Stakeholders Faults Bill To Appoint Customs Minister

In place of the Ministry of Finance, which currently has control over the agency’s operations, the Nigeria Customs Service Bill 2022, which is currently before the National Assembly, calls for the appointment of a new Minister of Customs.

According to information obtained by The Guardian, the same bill that the Federal Government rejected in 2013 is again being submitted with identical language in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The lack of a stakeholder/public hearing on the measure in the Senate, according to sources, has raised concerns among stakeholders.

In a petition submitted by its president, Lucky Amiwero, the National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) demanded that the draft bill be withdrawn, examined, and redrafted to address the gaps in the international agreements, treaties, and protocol the bill omitted.

According to the petition sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, the draft bill for 2022 also cuts the power of the Nigeria Customs Service by roughly 40%, which will have an impact on how well the service performs in the future on international trade.

In addition, he said the legislation clashes with the import, export, and manufacturing functions of other government entities.

“The Senate report on the Nigeria Customs Service bill of 2022 does not reflect the objective of the trade facilitation process, which is predicated on Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), World Customs Organization Kyoto convention (WCO) harmonization and simplification of Customs procedures, WCO Safe Framework of standards to secure and facilitate global trade, National Facilitation Committee of (IMO) FAL convention for harmonization, minimization, and facilitation,” he said.

“Furthermore, as stated in paragraph 3.0 (1-5) clause 8-(3), the Nigeria Customs Service is not within the Ministry of Finance in the draft bill (a). It implies that the president will nominate a new minister of customs.

Clause 8-(3) of the minister’s appointment said that “a minister who shall be chosen by the president shall be a retired officer not below the level of Deputy Comptroller-General.”

READ MORE: More Insurance Companies To Face Sanctions – NAICOM

This, in his view, demonstrated that the Board lacked authority and served mainly to oversee personnel affairs. “The repeal and re-enactment bill 2022 conferred all function and powers to Nigeria Customs Service,” the petition continued. “These functions and powers include managing and enforcing the provisions of the Act, the Customs and Excise Laws, directing, administering, and enforcing a provision of the Act, the Customs and Excise Laws; As it relates to Customs Administration, act; promote trade facilitation by international conventions and agreements, and carry out all border enforcement and regulatory activities mandated by law.

“The Nigeria Customs Service Bill is designed and customized for the management of the Nigerian Customs Service based on the removal of all ministerial authority and all but a small portion of the President’s authority. The Act’s title is organized globally based on the application of international conventions, treaties, and protocols on trade procedures.

He explained, “The measure is not for the employees of the Nigeria Customs Service as it has been designed, structured, and titled, but rather as an instrument to manage trade and fiscal policy of the economy by the Federal Government.

Additionally, he stated: “In the draft bill, Nigeria Customs Service was unjustly given unchecked powers over the President/Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the Ministers and other government agencies on policy-making, regulation of the economy on trade and fiscal policies, and other matters, which negate the principle of global best practice on administration, control, and management of Trade/Customs Act.”

Amiwero stated: “The Federal Minister of Finance should request the withdrawal of the Nigeria Customs Service draft bill from the National Assembly since it was not subjected to stakeholders’ or the public’s input at the Senate, by Sections 4-(1)(2)(3) and 5-(1) in addition to the provision under Section 148 of the Constitution. The draft bill needs to be submitted to the Committee of Trade Procedure Experts (TPE) and other key stakeholders for review by best practices set forth by the international community, particularly in light of the upcoming Trade Facilitation Agreement (FTA) and African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), which are not mentioned in the draft bill 2022.

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In place of the Ministry of Finance, which currently has control over the agency’s operations, the Nigeria Customs Service Bill 2022, which is currently before the National Assembly, calls for the appointment of a new Minister of Customs.

According to information obtained by The Guardian, the same bill that the Federal Government rejected in 2013 is again being submitted with identical language in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The lack of a stakeholder/public hearing on the measure in the Senate, according to sources, has raised concerns among stakeholders.

In a petition submitted by its president, Lucky Amiwero, the National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) demanded that the draft bill be withdrawn, examined, and redrafted to address the gaps in the international agreements, treaties, and protocol the bill omitted.

According to the petition sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, the draft bill for 2022 also cuts the power of the Nigeria Customs Service by roughly 40%, which will have an impact on how well the service performs in the future on international trade.

In addition, he said the legislation clashes with the import, export, and manufacturing functions of other government entities.

“The Senate report on the Nigeria Customs Service bill of 2022 does not reflect the objective of the trade facilitation process, which is predicated on Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), World Customs Organization Kyoto convention (WCO) harmonization and simplification of Customs procedures, WCO Safe Framework of standards to secure and facilitate global trade, National Facilitation Committee of (IMO) FAL convention for harmonization, minimization, and facilitation,” he said.

“Furthermore, as stated in paragraph 3.0 (1-5) clause 8-(3), the Nigeria Customs Service is not within the Ministry of Finance in the draft bill (a). It implies that the president will nominate a new minister of customs.

Clause 8-(3) of the minister’s appointment said that “a minister who shall be chosen by the president shall be a retired officer not below the level of Deputy Comptroller-General.”

READ MORE: More Insurance Companies To Face Sanctions – NAICOM

This, in his view, demonstrated that the Board lacked authority and served mainly to oversee personnel affairs. “The repeal and re-enactment bill 2022 conferred all function and powers to Nigeria Customs Service,” the petition continued. “These functions and powers include managing and enforcing the provisions of the Act, the Customs and Excise Laws, directing, administering, and enforcing a provision of the Act, the Customs and Excise Laws; As it relates to Customs Administration, act; promote trade facilitation by international conventions and agreements, and carry out all border enforcement and regulatory activities mandated by law.

“The Nigeria Customs Service Bill is designed and customized for the management of the Nigerian Customs Service based on the removal of all ministerial authority and all but a small portion of the President’s authority. The Act’s title is organized globally based on the application of international conventions, treaties, and protocols on trade procedures.

He explained, “The measure is not for the employees of the Nigeria Customs Service as it has been designed, structured, and titled, but rather as an instrument to manage trade and fiscal policy of the economy by the Federal Government.

Additionally, he stated: “In the draft bill, Nigeria Customs Service was unjustly given unchecked powers over the President/Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, the Ministers and other government agencies on policy-making, regulation of the economy on trade and fiscal policies, and other matters, which negate the principle of global best practice on administration, control, and management of Trade/Customs Act.”

Amiwero stated: “The Federal Minister of Finance should request the withdrawal of the Nigeria Customs Service draft bill from the National Assembly since it was not subjected to stakeholders’ or the public’s input at the Senate, by Sections 4-(1)(2)(3) and 5-(1) in addition to the provision under Section 148 of the Constitution. The draft bill needs to be submitted to the Committee of Trade Procedure Experts (TPE) and other key stakeholders for review by best practices set forth by the international community, particularly in light of the upcoming Trade Facilitation Agreement (FTA) and African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), which are not mentioned in the draft bill 2022.

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