The Central bank of Nigeria’s new policy of the e-valuation and e-invoice has led to disaster at the Nigeria ports, which may lead to more misery for Nigerians.
Fuel scarcity, Asuu strike and high inflation would be aggravated by this recent strike resulting from the apex bank action.
The recent e-invoicing and e-evaluation policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria in a circular to all authorized dealers and the general public for all imports and exports in the country has contributed to the already ailing international trade transactions and process in the economy.
These workers at the Tin-Can Island and the Ports and Terminal Mulitpurpose Limited (PTML)just last week gave the authority 72 hours to address the technical glitches facing the newly implemented policy. Just recently on Monday (21st February, 2022), the workers commenced a strike and have declared to extend their strike to all other Lagos State’s ports, including the Apapa and KiriKiri Terminals if their demands are unattended to.
Prior to the introduction by the CBN, the Nigerian House of Representatives had asked the CBN to halt the policy implementation as they foresaw a worsened international trade operation. The CEO of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise and former President of LCCI also highlighted the possible adverse effects of the implementation of the CBN e-invoice may pose in the economy such as; increased transaction cost, entrenched red tape, increased uncertainty and reduced investor’s confidence, among others. And thereby, advised that the CBN should intensify its collaboration with the Nigeria Customs to address any gaps in the valuation process.
However, the CBN refused to communicate a new date to implement the policy and went ahead to effect the e-invoice policy.
Information from the Assistant Secretary of PTM Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Sunny Ugorji , revealed that the agents were not against the platform but frowned at the implementation process. He stated that the implementation showed officers of the Nigerian Customs Service had increase duties on imported cars without notifying the agents.
His exact words were “We only withdrew our services because of the e-valuation, there is no work; we have withdrawn our services until they correct the e-valuation system. We are not against e-valuation, what we are against is the implementation of the platform. The implementation is indicating that the Nigeria Customs Service has increased duties without informing us. I don’t see why when they say e-valuation; it simply means we are going to observe port operations with no much interface which is good”
And he added, “We have succeeded in withdrawing our services both at the PTML Command and Tin-Can. By tomorrow (Tuesday) we are going to Apapa. On Wednesday, we are going to KLT to make sure we all speak with one voice.”