We can’t remain a dumping ground- Adeosun
By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has said that Africa cannot continue to be a dumping ground for sellers of all kinds of goods in the name of Free Trade Agreement.
She spoke, in Abuja, yesterday, at an Extra-Ordinary Meeting of Directors-General of Customs of the African Union.
“You must be patriotic. You must be Africa-focused. We cannot continue to be the world’s largest market for anybody who wants to sell anything.
“Selling and buying, that is trade and we must correct some of the historical imbalances that have made our economies very vulnerable,” she charged administrators of the continent’s customs organizations.
Mrs. Adeosun charged the customs administrators to strive to strike a balance between revenue mobilization, border production, security control, regulatory functions.
According to her, the African region remains number one in terms of illicit financial flows and that governments in the region must do more to ensure strong customs organizations that would check illicit trade and trans-border crimes.
Her words, “We are number one in illicit financial flow. Money and goods flow out of our (African) countries without being taxed or assessed we are also heavily import-dependent for many of our basic goods. So we do need very strong focus on customs.
“I am to draw your attention to the fact that customs activities at the borders can make or break the economy. It is therefore a challenge to you to always employ interventions that would expedite the movement of trade goods across national borders in a simplified and predictable manner to enhance trade facilitation and promote economic growth in Africa.”
In his address, the Comptroller-General (C-G) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) called for a common ground among African countries as they go to the next World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in July.