Home Maritime Incorrect data declaration by importers, exporters a challenge — Customs CG

Incorrect data declaration by importers, exporters a challenge — Customs CG

Customs - lagospost.ng

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Mr Adewale Adeniyi, has said that dishonest declaration by Nigerian exporters and importers has brought Nigerian trade data to question.

Adeniyi disclosed this at the commencement of the 2023 Comptroller General Conference being held in Lagos, he noted that the trade data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) maybe incorrect due to final destination of exports in particular.

The Customs boss explained that there have been instances where exports from Nigeria declared in a port in the United States of America were at variance with the actual content of the container.

He said, “I want all of us in this hall Customs, terminal operators, stakeholders to know that there are two sides to trade. You have your data and do not forget that those other entities you are trading with also have their own data. So what you generate as your export data is the import data of another trading entity

“Let me just give you a corporate example, three weeks ago we sponsored some of our officers to the United States of America on a study tour and as part of the tour, they visited the Airport in Washington; of course out of the excitement of learning how things work in the United States and lo! And behold, their risk management red flagged a particular shipment and guess what, the shipment was from Nigeria.

“So when it was opened, they matched it with the declaration from Nigeria, it was dry fish, but when they dug deeper, behind bags of the dry fish, they were fake Louis Vuitton bags that were manufactured in some places in Lagos stocked behind the dry fish.

“Our export data from Murtala Mohammed International Airport will be dry fish but their data will be part of the seizure report. So we need to be cautious of this. I heard data integrity several times, and I am happy it was talked about.

“Secondly, we sit on a lot of data, we do not do anything about it, we do not recognize the importance and the potentials that this has on trade.”

“So if we sit on all these data, we are not using them, we are not showing the government these data, other people will do that for us. The unfortunate part is this story about the integrity of NBS data is that these datas were taken from our system.

“You know in those days when we make declarations, we make six copies, there is one that goes to NBS That is where they get from these data that they are publishing. So if we the custodians of the data are not using and are pushing it out, then we cannot blame anybody if they bring out statistics of data that has no integrity.

“Finally, there is a lot of business intelligence we can generate from all of these data so it becomes easier for us when we face national Assembly when they are raising targets that are realistic for us.”



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