NAGAFF: Chiedozie, Urges Stakeholders To Take Advantage of New Government Policy To Export Processed Wood, Charcoals, Other Allied Products

 By Elizabeth Chukwuma

 With the embargo on the export of processed wood, Charcoals and other allied products lifted by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Administration, on the recommendation of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Emeka Paul Chiedozie, Chairman, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAFF, Tincan Island Chapter, has urged stakeholders to take advantage of the new government policy   to export the products.

 The government may have been encouraged to lift the ban on the export of processed wood, Charcoal and other allied products, mean for export ,   which the Federal Operations Unit, FOU Zone A, and Comptroller General of Customs Task Force, Team A,  Lagos Zonal office,  particular,  had continuously seized from the export –oriented companies   between 2020 and 2022.

 Going by the present Administration’s economic  focus  to revamp   businesses  and increase the country’s foreign exchange earnings  with  the implementation of  the RT200 scheme  meant to raise the consciousness  of Nigerian export –oriented companies  and other stakeholders to expand their  exports, may have encouraged the administration  to strictly  implement  the scheme.

The  RT200 scheme, was said to have been  anchored  on a five point agenda, with a view of raising  200 billion of the North American country of the United States dollar, in the next five ears.  The government may have lifted the ban for the export –oriented companies to export  processed wood, Charcoal and other baned items  by the  former President Muhammadu Buhari Administration  as a way to increase  the country’s  forex  inflow, diversify sources of forex inflow, increase the level of  non-oil exports , ensure the stability  and sustainability  of forex inflows  and equally  support  the export-orientated companies  to expand  their export operations and  capabilities.

 Until  the  former President Muhammadu’s Buhari’s Administration  elapsed on May 29, 2023,  Mohammed.H.Abdullahi, the immediate past minister of Environment , had given an indications  at a takeholders’ consultative meeting on’’ the review of the ban on Charcoal  and suspension of export of processed wood  and other allied products’’.  

 The former minister had said that that many businesses had been unintentionally affected by the ban,,particular, those  converting waste  to wealth  for export by the ban . He was said to have alluded to the fact that the decision was taken by the then Buhari’s Administration ‘’to enable the private sector and individuals to massivel invest in plantations.  

As a Prelude to revisiting the policy, Abdullahi, the erstwhile minister of  Environment was said to have appealed  all Associations and Individuals  in the Charcoal and processed wood business  to adhere strictly  to the Nigeria Timber  Legality Standards  and guideline  for wood and charcoal  export and ensure total compliance  with the laid down rules to avoid banning the export of the products again.   

Many believe that the ministry of Environment may have been encouraged to review its policy   on the ban  the export of processed wood and Charcoal  and other allied products  to give a breather to the  export-oriented Companies involved in the business in order    to get a share  of the market for the products in the international market  said to be  worth $58.3 billion.

Note that many of the processed wood and Charcoal export –oriented companies which were driven out of the business by the Customs Interventionist teams, within the Lagos axis appears to have staged a comeback as the Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, has given them the go ahead to do so as approved by Tinubu, on the advice of the ministry of Environment and the Nigerian Expport Promotion Council, NEPC.

Chiedozie: Chairman, NAGAFF, Tincan Island, Chapter

In a related development, Chiedozie, the Tin can Island, Chapter, NAGAFF , boss,  and who incidentally is the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of  Seagold Limited,has thanked  Tochukwu  Ezsi,  National President of NAGAFF,  for  renovating  the  Association office which was said to have cost N7.2 million.

 The renovation of the NAGAFF, Tincan Island Chapter, Secretariat, appears to have made it possible for the members to gather together in one location to hold meetings and get the latest information on government policy about their business at the ports or land border areas from the NCS or the CBN, circulars.

 This may have informed why the information on the new government policy lifting the embargo placed on the exportation of processed wood, Charcoal, and allied products could easily be passed to the members and the export oriented-companies as it was available to members to study and ensure total compliance to the rules. This is to avoid giving the government room to contemplate of taking such a decision again  

In making a bold statement  for the Nigerian pexport –oriented companies  to compete with other  foreign Companies  in the   processed wood, Charcoal and other allied products in the international  market, without fear of  being impounded by the Customs Interventionist Units, o in Lagos , the nation’s Commercial  nerve centre and other ports  and landborders , across the country,   may have informed why the Ali led Customs has  issued a Circular, dated June 8, 2023,   stating a’’ conditional lifting of the ban  on the export of the  products and other allied items’’.

In spite of the Administrative ban lifted on the export of processed wood and Charcoal,  Musa,  popular, MBA, a former Comptroller of Tincan Island , Customs Area Comptroller and now , an Assistant Comptroller General, ACG,  Trade and Tariff, Department,   was said to have sent a message  to the export –oried Companies , jubilating over the lifting  of the Administrative ban on the exportation of processed wood and Charcoal that   CITES, listed endangered species like  Roosewood,or Pterocapus erinaceous , remains  prohibited from being exported.

As a prelude to ensuring that the present Administration lifting of embarcoal on the exportation of processed wood and Charcoal  are not taking for granted by the export-oriented companies and other stakeholders may have informed why ACG. Musa, has made it clear  to those that cares to listen that ‘’all requests   for the exportation of  processed wood, Charcoal and other allied products  must be backed by a letter  of approval from the ministry of  Finance , Budget and National , Planning.

He was said to have directed them ‘’ to be compliant with  the provisions  of the extant guidelines  for non-oil export’’,  and  equally Collaborate  with the Forest officers of the ministry of Environment  at the Lagos ports of Apapa, Tincan Island, Port Services and Multi-terminal Limited, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal, KLT, phases I and II and the south eastern ports of Onne, PortHarcour , Calabar  and Delta port, Warri, and  the Land borders across the country  for ‘’proper identification  and prevention of  exportation of prohibited wood products’’.  

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