Nigeria Customs Service’s Comptroller General, Mr. Adewale Adeniyi, highlights concerns over the credibility of Nigerian trade data, attributing the issue to dishonest declarations by both exporters and importers.
According to vanguardngr.com, The acknowledgment underscores the need for enhanced transparency in trade practices to ensure the accuracy and reliability of economic data crucial for effective policymaking and fostering a trustworthy international trade environment.
Disclosing this at the commencement of the 2023 Comptroller General Conference holding in Lagos, he noted that the trade data from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, maybe incorrect due to final destination of exports in particular.
The Customs boss explained that there have been instances where exports from Nigeria declared in a port in the United States of America were at variance with the actual content of the container.
He said: “I want all of us in this hall Customs, terminal operators, stakeholders, to know that there are two sides to trade. You have your data and do not forget that those other entities you are trading with also have their own data. So what you generate as your export data is the import data of another trading entity.
“Let me just give you a corporate example, three weeks ago we sponsored some of our officers to the United States of America to a study tour and as part of the tour, they visited the Airport in Washington. Off-course out of excitement of learning how things work in the United States and low and behold, their risk management red flagged a particular shipment and guess what, the shipment was Nigeria.
“So when it was opened, they marched it with the declaration from Nigeria, it was dry fish. But when they dug deeper, behind bags of the dry fish, they were fake Loui Vutton bags that were manufactured in some places in Lagos stocked behind the dry fish.
“Our export data from Murtala Mohammed International Airport will be dry fish but their data will be part of the seizure report.
“Secondly, we sit on a lot of data, we do not do anything about it; we do not recognize the importance and the potentials that this has on trade.”
“So if we sit on all these data, we are not using them, we are not showing the government these data, other people will do that for us. The unfortunate part is this story about the integrity of NBS data is that these data were taken from our system”.