Friday, September 22, 2017

Exporters Incur Huge Losses Due to Port Grid Lock

Reports gathered by 3Timpex trade academy reveals that a number of exporters are incurring huge losses as a result of the gridlock currently going on in the Apapa axis area of Lagos.  Considering the fact that more than 50% Import Export trade happens through the Lagos port, it is very sad to note that both the Federal and State government have not really done much in terms of reducing the impact of the gridlock on trade and citizens.

 According to an Exporter who pleaded anonymous said this ‘incidence is portraying a great danger on the current diversification project as we are made to believe, then the focus should not just be on farming and mining but also on the transport of the goods and citizens in and out of the port’. Exporters of agricultural commodities have had to keep their goods at the warehouses longer than necessary and thereby incurring losses through interest on loan, warehousing cost and deteriorating agricultural commodities, demurrage on trucks and containers.

 In similar vein, the Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators of Nigeria, Mrs. Ify Haastrup expressed fears that the congestion at the port is due to the ongoing palliative work being done on the Apapa Ijora/Wharf road.  She explained that it was difficult for containers to enter the ports because empty containers that had been offloaded were unable to get out due to the traffic situation.

 To this end, it is sad to know that this is causing a lot of problems for intending and established exporters who are currently confused as to the way out of their current predicament.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Menace of Form Q and The Future of Nigerian Economy


In April 12, 2007, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced a new document and terminology into the Import sub-sector of the Nigerian trade environment. Before this time we only know Form M (application form for Import station in Nigeria, now called e-form m because the process has been automated), NXP form (application form for commercial export), NCX form (application form for non-commercial export) and Form A (application form for invisible trade like payment for offshore services). The newly introduced document has be christened Form Q. This new import process for SMEs portraits a danger to the economy and will also engender corrupt practices.



The CBN in its circular dated TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/003 and dated April 18, 2017 with the subject: Foreign Exchange Payment for Small Scale Importation. It stated that "the CBN hereby introduces the use of Form Q by Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) as part of its effort to improve access to foreign exchange by SMEs. The form has been designed to ease the documentation requirements by these sector." This directive has caused a major confusion in the banking sector, the Customs does not even know how to handle the form and the banks are being penalised for not utilising the funds (as reported in some national dailies).



Let me first summarise the Import process in Nigeria to enable you understand the challenges that this Form  Q is currently posing to the operators in the sector. To legally Import any item into Nigeria, the importer need to apply online by submitting a pre Import documentations through an Authorised Dealer Bank. This documentations include e-Form, Proforma Invoice, Marine Insurance Certificate and the relevant permit (this depends on the agency of government that regulates the product). The filling of the form is done online (www.trade.gov.ng) and all the relevant documents are attached before submission. This application must be approved before an importer can go ahead to ship the goods into the country.



After shipment, the importer will present the original through the sellers bank abroad to the same bank that process e-Form M for approval. The bank will then use these documents to process the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR). It is Important to state that these shipping documents include Bill of lading, Invoice, Packing list etc and they must all contain the Form M number. The PAAR and shipping documents are then released to the importer by the bank to enable him clear the goods upon arrival at the port. The PAAR is a document that contains the summary of the shipment and including the duty payable by the Importer.



Now that I have given you an idea of how the Import process in Nigeria works, let me go ahead to state the way Form Q works and the challenges it poses on the Nigerian economy. The SME customer approach the bank with the filled Form Q, BVN number, Pro-forma Invoice and a letter of request for fund ($20,000 per quarter) transfer abroad to pay for the items to be imported. The bank uses these documents to process the transfer of the requested funds to buyer abroad. The seller abroad ships the goods and send the shipping documents directly to the importer (SME customer). This means that:

-    There will be no trace of this shipment on the Nigeria Single Window for trade. This therefore makes the import data generated on this platform to become unreliable because of other transactions done outside the trade window

-    The shipping documents will not go to the banks which means they can process the PAAR (an objective assessment report of document presented for duty payment)

-    The importer will most likely be paying incorrect duty since PAAR is not used but rather through an assessment done by customs at the port. This thus encourage corrupt practices that could result in leakage of income due to the government.

-    The importer can use his different companies in the same bank and even in different banks to transfer more that the allowed $20,000 per quarter 

-    The importer can use his friend's companies in the same bank and also in different banks to transfer more that the allowed $20,000 per quarter

-    The importer might effect this transfer and not ship any product into Nigeria and thus having an easy avenue for money laundering

The implications of all these on the economy include but not limited to the following: increased and easy avenues for corrupt practices, increased and easy avenue for money laundering, depletion and unproductive use of the scarce resources in our foreign reserves and increase avenues for the leakage of the income due to the federal government.



In as much as the CBN is doing this with a good intention for the economy, I think that the process was not well thought out. I think CBN is doing this to reduce the pressure exerted by the demand of these categories of importers for foreign exchange (FX) in the parallel market and thereby reducing the rate in the parallel market and bringing some sanity to the FX markets in general. This question is for how long can the CBN do this to defend the Naira? I am of the opinion that the trade-off of this process will be too much for the nation to bear in the long run.



I will therefore like to recommend that the CBN take a critical look at this process again and find a way to integrate the Form Q process with the e-Form process on the single window platform. Also, the shipping documents that evidenced that the goods has been shipped should be routed through the banks for PAAR processing before releasing them to the importer. With this, I think the CBN will still be able to reasonably achieve its objectives while protecting the country from economic vultures

Bamidele Ayemibo
bayemibo@3timpex.com

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Export Digest Newsletter - 3T Impex Commences Export Business Investment Programme

Dear Readers,

Please find below Nigeria's Foremost trade Newsletter - Export Digest
In This Week's Edition of Export Digest Newsletter - 3T Impex Commences Export Business Investment Programme

To read the full details of this edition of Export Digest, Click Here
To read the full details of this edition of Export Digest, Click Here

3T Impex Mobile App ............ Learning Trade The Smart Way. Click Here To Download the App From Google Play Store

Thinking of Financing or Investing in Export Business? Then Grab a Copy of A-Z Of Export Business Financing

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

How CBN Can Grow Non-oil Export Volume Via Healthy Competition Among Banks

The fact that the solutions to our foreign exchange volatility resides in the growth of non-oil export volume in Nigeria is no more a news and neither does it have to be a symposium discussion. This is because the reasons are very obvious before our eyes. Our major foreign exchange earner now is the crude oil export, but we also have great potentials to earn even much more export proceeds from Agricultural and Solid Mineral sectors of the Economy.


It is interesting to note that while the total non-oil export volume from Nigeria in 2016 was less than $2 million, the total value of crude oil sold by Nigeria between January and December 2016 dropped by $6.7 billion from $40.5 billion in 2015 to $33.8 billion; a comparative analysis of official crude oil lifting values published by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). In my opinion, the reason why the non-oil export volume has been at the low level is simply because there are no supporting drivers in the economy. I discovered the drivers gap could really help us increase awareness and encourage a lot of businesses to go into non-oil export business in recent times, when we had shortage of foreign exchange due to the drop in the price and sales of our crude oil. Guess who these drivers are, the Commercial Banks!


As the price and sales of oil began to decline and the foreign exchange availability became a mirage, the commercial banks, in the bid to survive and stay afloat, despite the economic recession became suddenly very creative in the drive to generate foreign exchange. They started by training their staff in different areas of export, they set up export desk to take enquiries on exportation, they began to work on export Finance product programmes, they organised Export sensitisation workshop across the country and put together so many more plans and strategies to grow their export customer base. Little did we know that all these were gear towards generate foreign exchange in order to fund their Import transaction, thereby growing their income for business survival and not because they really want to contribute to the growth of the non-oil export sector of the economy.


This position of mine has been vindicated now that the foreign exchange has started flowing in a fairly reasonable manner from the CBN. You know what has happened now, most of the commercial banks has reverted back to their default mode of allowing export to be on auto pilot without a driver and concentrating on what brings in the cash- Importation business. Where are the export training for staff? Where are the export sensitisation seminars? Where are the export vibrant desks? Where are the product papers for export financing? Where are all the great and very creative export growth initiatives? They have all gone into oblivion in most of the banks. How I wish the drive and passion of the Nigerian banks for exportation had continued, we would have been far ahead now and even very close to the desired breakthrough in this sector.


In order to bring the banks back to continue their drives towards export growth, here are my suggestions. I think the CBN should come up with a foreign exchange allocation mechanism, which allows any bank to get a percentage foreign exchange allocation (that CBN wants to sell per time) that is equivalent to the percentage of the export proceeds received in that banks, based on the exportation done by its customers. For example, if bank A received an export proceeds that amount to 10% of the industry total in the month of January, such a bank should receive only 10% of the foreign exchange allocation to be sold by CBN in the month of February.


I expect some bankers to kick against this now because some banks seem to have larger share of the export proceeds inflow because they have more exporters, to solve this the CBN can give a notice of 3months to all the banks ahead of commencement of this policy. This is to enable the banks who currently have low export proceeds to put together their strategies, grow the capacity of their staff and begin the execution of their plans to increase their export customers base.


I know that some bankers reading this now might be saying that the Exporters do not declare the details of their export businesses by avoiding the filling of NXP in their pre-export documentation and some might even say that CBN is the one discouraging them by sanctioning them for the offence of non-repatriations of export proceeds committed by the exporters. These are valid concerns and here are my responses to these issues. First, I will like to say that the two major initiatives of CBN which include the Investor Exporters window (that enables exporters to sell their export proceeds at a better rate) and the directive that now ensures that all Bill of lading carry the NXP number (so as to ensure that no exporter is able to ship goods out of the country through the seaport without the requisite pre-export documentation) have both solve the problems and remove the fear of the Nigerian banks regarding exporters who avoid documentations done through them. On the other issue of non-repatriation of export proceeds, I will like to recommend that CBN rescind the regulation that says that the commercial bank will be sanctioned for non-repatriation of export proceeds (at least for all, the previous exportation done through them) since, the two new regulations should be able to reasonably cub these practices. The CBN should simply inform the commercial banks to decline any request for further exportation from any company that is into such practices. The BVN number of the signatories to such a company's account can be used to by the bank to trace such customers.


Finally, it will also be of immense importance to state that the CBN should take the front row in this drive by making good her promise to grow the sector through the approval and release of the Export Stimulation Funds requests that are currently pending before the Governor of the Apex Bank.


If indeed we really desire to grow the non-oil export sector in this country, we should not allow it to be on autopilot again, we need to engage drivers who will be committed to championing the course because of what is it for them.

Bamidele Ayemibo
bayemibo@3timpex.com

Export Digest Newsletter - FG Okays N20Billion for Export Claims Settlement

Dear Readers,

Please find below Nigeria's Foremost trade Newsletter - Export Digest
 
In This Week's Edition of Export Digest Newsletter - FG Okays N20Billion for Export Claims Settlement

To read the full details of this edition of Export Digest, Click Here
To read the full details of this edition of Export DigestClick Here

3T Impex Mobile App ............ Learning Trade The Smart Way Click Here To Download the App From Google Play Store.

Thinking of Financing or Investing in Export Business? Then Grab a Copy of A-Z Of Export Business Financing

Friday, September 8, 2017

Career Transition & Retirement Planning

Career Transition is a 1hour, 7mins DVD with remarkable features and benefits to transit from paid employment to being your own boss.

One of the features is that it teaches you how to understand the proper definition of work, the place of passion, talent and market as well as the types and levels of money. It exposes you the critical phases of a successful career and overcoming the challenges of entrepreneurship. It provides you with the five sources of capital for business take off & growth alongside understanding the vision and core ideology of business.

The benefits of the Career Transition DVD is that it helps you know the easy steps to becoming your own boss and seeing great business opportunities around you. Career Transition practically demonstrate how to write a bankable business plan. It prepares you for retirement & retrenchment. It assist you in overcoming the fear of the unknown. It shows how easy it is to access capital as well as ways to handling mistakes and failure in business.

It costs N5, 000 and can be delivered to you anywhere in Nigeria. Please call 08091244449 or tweet @3timpextrade

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Import Pro....Your Trusted Partner For Stress Free Import Business

Navigate all the hurdles of import processes from sourcing for suppliers to getting cheaper sources of foreign exchange with #ImportPro. It gives practical demonstration on filling your e-form M, getting e-SONCAP, Import Permit, HS Code and Duty Calculation.