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Let’s Make Business Easier – SON

Importers of cable into the country would no longer be allowed to use any other port except the Lagos Port complex as the point of destination, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) has said.

The agency said that importers that violate this directive would have their consignments seized and destroyed.

Its Director General, Mr. Joseph Odumodu, stressed that, as part of SON new mandate, the organisation had been empowered to designate certain ports for certain products.

He noted that importation of cables into the country would only be allowed to come in through Apapa Port.

“Very soon, people who bring cable into the country through Seme border would no longer be allowed to do that, because what we plan to do is to make Apapa Port the only port from, which you can bring cables into Nigeria. So, if we see cables in any other port, even in Tincan Island, we shall remove them and destroy them,” Odumodu said.

Also, he explained that SON had introduced an e-certification platform that would allow it to integrate into the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS). Odumodu said that the platform would enhance fast clearance of goods at the nation’s seaports and land borders.

He told importers, freight forwarders and customs agents at sensitisation seminar in Lagos that the new system would commence in November 2015. He explained that the initiative would enable importers to carry out their transactions from the comfort of their offices. Odumodu said the system would eliminate human contact and boost trade facilitation in the country. The director general added that the integration would help check sub -standard goods importation into the country. He added that the agency was working towards reducing the rate of sub-standard goods imported into Nigeria from 40 to 10 per cent.

“What we are doing today is to make business a lot easier. It will reduce tendency for corruption. People go to Lekki and Apapa, but with this new platform, there won’t be any need to come to us again. Stay in your office and do all your transaction, pay your fees and clear your goods from the port. “People must now do the right thing. You must pay your tax, you must also apply with the right documentation, if the documents are not right, the system will not allow you carry out the transaction,” he said.

The director-general denied the media reports that the agency was seeking to return to the port. He said that with the new system in place, SON’s officials would not need to be in the port to check sub-standard goods that come into the country. Odumodu stated that the agency had a new mandate to enter any warehouse and impound sub-standard products. He said: “We have not returned to the port and we also do not seek to return to the port. The point is that, we have a right to know what is coming into the country and we will find ways of doing that.”

 

Source: Bizwatch, Nigeria

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