Subsequently after the launch of the e- evaluator and e-invoicing for import and export by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has stated that due to the technical requirements associated with the electronic platform for import and export, an interactive and live customer complaint resolution support section should be initiated within the Trade Monitoring System.
Director of General of the Chamber, Dr. Chinyere Almona has commended the technological initiative stating that this electronic platform will improve revenue stream, facilitate trade transactions and reduce processing time in import or export forms.
She noted that investment in emerging technology such as digital systems, products and infrastructure needs to increase soon. Almona also encouraged automation of various port processes and operations that are done manually which incurred cost on importers and exporters.
“We also encourage the Federal Government to automate more processes to reduce human interface as a way of curtailing corruptive tendencies in our trade chain”.
The Director General also stated consideration should be given to users of the platform that are Small & Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), noting that deep stake holder consultation and participation with the private sector is important to sustaining this technological initiative.
“Since the trade sector has shown some level of resilience and has become one of the fastest-growing sectors recording a year-on-year growth rate of 11.90 percent in the third quarter of 2021 and a contribution of 14.93 percent to GDP in Q3 of 2021, the government should do more to make the Nigerian trade system more efficient and easier to navigate by all parties.”
She explained that the E-platforms will improve Nigeria oppurtunities in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which is expected to blossom this year.
The LCCI further clarifies that the February 1 commencement date does not give sufficient time for proper transition.
“Issues of legal liability are not clear and dispute resolution mechanisms need to be articulated.
“There is a need to clarify if the subscription fee of $350 (US Dollars), is to be paid in Naira equivalence or foreign currency and if in US Dollars, whether affected users will be allowed to source the Dollars through the CBN.
“The 2.5 percent around the vertical prices appears stringent and should be reviewed to about 5 percent given that discriminatory pricing may be a factor.
The exemption of imports worth $10,000 appears too low that no import will effectively be exempted.
“There should be sufficient transparency and governance around the CBN-appointed agents and authorised dealer banks to ensure adequate independence and supervision.