Zainab Ahmed

Nigeria’s federal government has said it granted N342 billion waivers to importers in the last two years.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed who disclosed this at the second phase of the one-day sensitisation seminar on the Automated Import Duty Exemption Certificate, at the Nigeria Customs Training College, in Lagos, described the digitisation process of import duty exemption as a way to eliminate corruption, save time and promote transparency.

The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Aliyu Ahmed, noted that the scope of waiver requests was expanding hence, the need to have modern technology to drive the administration.

“Approximately N341.94bn worth of waivers was granted from August 2017 to August 2019. The scope of such requests are expanding; hence the need to have in place modern technology to drive its administration,” she said.

Ahmed also noted the importance of the modernised process as being in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision for the importation sector.

In his own remark at the session, Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), said the new platform would eradicate trade related vices such as impersonation and forgeries of signatures in the importation process.

Ali who was represented by the Assistant Comptroller General and Zonal Coordinator in charge of Zone A, Katherine Ekekezie, also said the automation would boost investors’ confidence and enable easy detection of all forms of illegalities