Nigeria Customs ranks low in indices of operational standards -Report

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Matthew Otoijagha

The World Bank has ranked Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, low in efficiency and other indices of operational standards. The country ranked 110 out of the 167 countries surveyed making it among the lowest performing countries in the world as regards the efficiency of its customs service and border management processes.

Bureaucracy and corruption in customs clearance processes have for long been said to pose significant challenges to the trading community in Nigeria. The World Bank in its 2018 evaluated the logistic performance of 160 countries, using data gathered through a worldwide survey of logistics professionals on how easy or difficult they experienced trade logistics along six generic dimensions.

The dimensions include customs efficiency and border management clearance, quality of trade and transport-related infrastructure; ease of arranging competitively priced international shipments; competence and quality of logistics services; ability to track and trace consignments; and the frequency with which shipments reach consignees within the scheduled time.

Across all the indicators, Nigeria took the 110th place out of the 160 countries, one of the bottom 50 performers in the world. In the report, Nigeria has a level of logistics constraints typical of low and middle-income countries. In terms of customs efficiency and logistics, Nigeria emerged 147th and 112th respectively.

In International shipment, Nigeria was ranked 110th, while in   logistics infrastructure, 78th, logistics competence, 112th; tracking and tracing, 92nd; and timeliness, 92nd position. The report for the West African sub region showed that Cote D’Ivoire clinched the top position as the best performing country in trade logistics with a global ranking of 50. Benin Republic is next at the 76th position; Ghana, 106th; Nigeria, 110th; Togo, 118th; Gambia, 127th; Liberia, 143; and Sierra Leone, 156th.

The report stated: “The six  Logistics Performance Index,  LPI, indicators are divided into two main categories: areas for policy regulation which indicates main inputs to the supply chain, which includes customs, infrastructure, and services; as well as, supply chain performance outcomes, which corresponds to LPI indicators of time, cost, and reliability, timeliness, international shipments, and tracking and tracing.

“Because operators on the ground can best assess the vital aspects of logistics performance, the LPI relies on an online survey of logistics professionals from the companies responsible for moving goods around the world: multinational freight forwarders and the main express carriers.

“Freight forwarders and express carriers are best positioned to assess how countries perform. “Their views matter because they directly affect the choice of shipping routes and gateways, thereby influencing the decisions of firms to locate production, chooses suppliers, and select target markets.”

The report listed the bottom 10 countries in the world to include Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Niger, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, Libya, Haiti, Zimbabwe and Central African Republic.

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