CBN to sanction shipping lines for non-compliance with directive on Nigerian Export Proceeds numbers
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it would sanction international shipping companies for not complying with its directive that all export goods leaving the country must carry Nigerian Export Proceeds (NXP) numbers.
Speaking during a virtual meeting recently convened by the CBN on the issue, Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, stated that an audit of shipping companies by the apex bank showed that several shipping companies were not complying with the directive, which would attract strict sanctions.
On his part, Hassan Bello, executive secretary/CEO of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), said Shipper’s Council in partnership with the Central Bank has carried out three sensitisation meetings in Lagos and Port Harcourt to educate shipping companies and exporters on the need to implement the directive on the NXP.
According to a statement by Rakiya Zubairu, head, Public Relations of NSC, Bello added that the Council would work with other agencies of government to ensure full compliance, so that export without the NXP would be discontinued.
“We are going to set up an auto system, where if someone wants to send cargo, copies of the NXP form would be sent directly so that if agencies in charge do not have the number on their system, the cargo would be turned back,” he explained.
Responding, Andrew Lynch, managing director, MSC Nigeria Limited, stated that his company receives NXP forms on all major agro commodities like cashew, cocoa and sesame, but not for commodities like charcoal and timber.
According to him, items such as charcoal and timber usually do not have NXP forms after they have already arrived at the port, and once cargo gets to the port and has gotten clearance from the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), there would be pressure on shipping companies to ship immediately, due to space constraints at the port.
He added that one of their challenges also lies in their inability to verify the authenticity of an NXP Form.
Ascanio Russo, managing director, Grimaldi Nigeria Ltd, stated that in addition to not being able to verify the authenticity of the NXP Form, his company is unable to access CBN’s online portal.
The CBN Governor however assured that a circular outlining the procedure to verify the NXP would be sent out to shipping lines and relevant agencies like the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Ministry of Finance, Nigeria Customs Services and security agencies among others.