Peter Tompang, MD/CEO Kipelo International Limited.
Are Nigerians doing the right things in her import and export sector? – Peter Tompang.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The state of the activities within the import and the export area and indeed the collective activities within the Nigerian maritime sector is raising more questions than answers. www.greatalternativenigerianetwork.com.ng had a chat with the managing director and chief executive officer of Kipelo International Limited, Mr. Peter Tompang who gave a no hold barred opinion on the operational activities around the sector.
Mr. Tompang took a look at the maritime sector and asked the questions ” generally, are we doing the right things, are we complying with the rules of engagement in trade? We have been coming up with different strategies on how to run our ports, and for proper activities in our import and export and to see that for any goods exported that the proceeds are repatriated back to the country, but have we really enforced the law guiding these operations? At the beginning of this year, there was a seminar organised by the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Nigerian Shippers Council in order that there may be better efficiency and that the economy my continue to grow, but is it all about just organising seminars and workshops and then going back and assume that everything is all right? We cannot just be seen as going through the motion without much improvement within the system. There should be a close monitoring of all activities within the ports”. He asked further” are we really complying and if so why do we still see contraband goods in our streets and in our homes, how did they come in? There should be strict enforcement of the rules, people should be made to comply with the laid down procedures”.
He stated that the
Government is loosing a lot of revenue because of smuggling as there are a lot of manipulations within the system. He asked “are we making proper examination of items coming into the country and are we also making proper examination of the the cargoes leaving the country, there seems to be many leakages within the system and we are being rather penny wise, but pounds foolish. He admonished that “so long as some unscrupulous people continue to collaborate with criminally minded foreigners to engage in illegal activities and the money meant to be repatriated to Nigeria are kept abroad, it will continue to hurt our economy, it is a pity, the people manning various positions within the system should wake up and be alive to their responsibilities “.
He stated further that “we have international guidelines that give direction on import and export procedures, but we have also chosen to adopt the destination inspection process, but then asked
if we are making it to work? “We are supposed to be operating a modern economy, but where are the scanners for the proper and efficient examination of cargoes, a lot of people do what we call the fast track clearing of cargoes in order that some of their illegal activities may be covered up”
He suggested thay the Federal Government should set up monitoring unit separate from the known ones to monitor every cargo that comes out of the ports through the fast track and you will be shocked to find that most of the so cleared goods are not what were declared.
Mr. Tompang advised all stakeholders that we have a country to protect, but also admonished the Federal Government to “take care of its responsibility and give proper incentives in order that people may work rather conscientiously”. He continued “when they engaged the services of Cotechna a few years back, they gave Cotechna what is called a one percent CIS and so as we are doing destination inspection now, they should also give the agents a certain amount of percentage from the proceeds of what they the agents generate”.
He said that “the Council for the Registration of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria(CRFFN) is there to protect the interest of all freight forwarders, but that they seem not to be living up to their responsibility, the CRFFN should propose to the government the payment of a particular percentage of generated revenue back to the freight forwarders as one among the duties that they should carry out, they should also engage in the training and retraining of members”.
He suggested that the concessioning of the ports has created more problems than solution as this has created a situation where the cost of doing business has skyrocketed and of course goods that are meant for the Nigerian markets cleared at other West African countries’ Ports and then smuggled into Nigeria, he said that the concessioning of the ports should probably be reviewed. Mr. Tompang raised a lot more questions that should should agitate the minds of many Nigerians as he asked if many of us are dead to our conscience with the way we seem to carry out our businesses without taking into consideration the negative impact of our actions on our society.