The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) has urged the incoming administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu to remove all Customs checkpoints within the country stating that the practice of intercepting cargoes that have been duly cleared at any of the nation’s ports, which has been proven to be extortionist should be discontinued.
In a statement made available to Maritime Today Online, CPPE Director, Muda Yusuf, also urged the new administration to stop the practice of appointing non-career officers as Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service.
According to him, the appointment of non-career persons is detrimental to professionalism and morale of career officers in the Customs Service.
The Director of CPPE in its economic agenda for the incoming administration urged the Tinubu government to prioritize trade facilitation and remove all non-tariff barriers to trade.
He said there should be a balance between the revenue objectives and trade facilitation objectives of the Nigeria customs Service as according to him there is currently a disproportionate focus on revenue generation.
He added that the new administration should ensure tariff regime that adequately protects local industries.
“Import duty on intermediate products and critical industrial inputs should be reviewed to reduce production costs.
“Tariff review processes should be more inclusive and transparent,” he added.
Yusuf said the Nigerian economy is in a stumbling and fragile state, hence the need for a new direction.
He said, “The administration should establish quality economic governance consistent with tested economic principles and empirical evidence, and contextualized within socio-economic peculiarities. This is critical from the onset of the administration for signaling and investors’ confidence. Good economic governance framework would entail the following:
” Setting up a transition committee on the economy to come up with propositions of what needs to be done differently and ensure the delivery quick wins in the first one month of the administration.
“Technically sound economic team to give guidance and direction on general economic policy direction, policy conceptualization and urgent reforms.
“An economy where there is level playing field for all players with a transparent economic policy formulation process.
“Competitive economic environment with minimum monopoly dominance.
“Expand the role of markets for value delivery and boosting of private enterprise in the economy. State institutions do not have the capacity to manage enterprises.
“Robust monitoring and evaluation framework to regularly review the effectiveness and impact of economic policies and regulatory practices.
“Robust and regular stakeholder engagement by key government agencies to ensure proper alignment of policies with investors sentiments.
” Government institutions that play technical roles should be headed by tested technocrats.”
Yusuf also urged the new administration to prioritize macroeconomic stability with emphasis on moderating inflationary pressures, stabilizing the exchange rate and boosting economic growth.
He also noted the need for the Tinubu administration to reform tax regime to ensure efficiency in tax administration, reduce tax evasion and tax avoidance as well as elimination of multiple taxation.
“Elimination of fuel subsidy to save an estimated N7 trillion annually.
“Elimination of foreign exchange subsidy to unlock a minimum of N3 trillion revenue annually from the sale of CBN forex to the official foreign exchange window.
“Unlock more income from revenue generating agencies through enhanced efficiency of their operations.
“Initiate budget reforms to ensure fiscal discipline, curb budget padding, curb duplication of projects and review the service wide votes to ensure transparency, he said.