The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) may be losing N1 billion in revenue from smuggling of roofing sheets, the Chairman of Basic Metal, Iron and Fabricated Steel (BMIFS), Dr. Kamoru Yusuf, has observed.
BMIFS which is an arm of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) appealed to the Federal Government to come to its aid in curbing the activities of smugglers in the sector.
Dr. Yusuf, who is also the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Kam Holdings, spoke in Lagos yesterday during an interactive session with the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Muhammed Ali (Rtd), on the sidelines of the 47th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of MAN.
The customs CG was represented by Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) Chinwe Ekekezie and other senior customs officers.
Yusuf said there were about 200 containers of smuggled roofing sheets entering the country through Onne Port, Rivers State.
He said there was a recent discovery of warehouses with N500m worth of fake roofing sheets in Owerri and Okigwe, Imo State, by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), adding that a lot more needed to be done to curb the activities of the smugglers.
He said while the local manufacturers paid 45 per cent duty, the smugglers paid zero duty, noting that the development had taken a toll on their business, apart from the huge revenue customs was losing.
According to him, while four of their members have shut down due to the activities of smugglers, the rest of them still in business operate at less than 40 per cent capacity.
Yusuf, however, stressed the need for the NSC and SON to synergise more in tackling the activities of smugglers, noting that, “Many items are coming into Nigeria without documentation.”
ACG Ekekezie in her response, said customs did not clear fake and smuggled items in the country, and added that Nigeria had all it took to be self-sufficient, and therefore encouraged manufacturers to up their game.