By Gboyega Oni
Double standards that is being employed by the Nigeria Customs Service in dealing with customs agents is said to be killing healthy cargo transaction in the ports and strongly condemned.
Customs agents condemned the process in a press release issued by National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders and noted that many containers intercepted by FOU Ikeja and the CGC Strike Force were being subjected to another round of examination, which amounts to an abuse of proper customs examination under destination inspection.
The customs agents commended the Customs Area Controller of Tincan Island Port Command of the Customs, Comptroller Abdullahi Musa over operational standards in the port which has encouraged even competition among cargo traders.
They advised that the customs examiners should adhere to professionalism to ensure proper customs examination with a view to interdicting all matters of untrue declarations for customs purposes.
‘It is our wish and desire to state clearly that over time in the customs operations that it has been a case of regrets that NCS is yet to fully actualize equitable operations in dealing with people who come to transact businesses with the service. The irony of it all is that these traders are not being encouraged and supported in utmost good faith to compete among them in the open market. A trip to FOU Ikeja and the CGC Strike force depot presents a sorry state of variation of discoveries made during second examination of interdicted laden containers by the intervention forces of the service. We regret to state that proper customs examination under destination inspection regime has been in the extreme abused.
‘Therefore the current efforts of the leadership of TCIP of the customs command to ensuring operational standards are most appreciated and obliged. In this regard, NAGAFF and its members would continue to support and encourage the command to do everything possible to ensure even competition among traders who come to transact businesses with the command. Accordingly, all NAGAFF members are hereby directed to engage all customs operations in utmost good faith and professionalism. To achieve this objective, it shall be procedural that declarations made for customs purposes must be purposeful, genuine and with a measure of integrity. When we do this, the intervention forces of the FOU and CGC Strike Force will be rendered irrelevant on our city and federal high ways.
‘However, it is our advice that the customs examiners should adhere to professionalism to ensure proper customs examination with a view to interdicting all matters of untrue declarations for customs purposes. We appreciate the standards and peaceful business environment in Apapa port and believing that it should be sustained. We must state that thereafter the CGC visited NAGAFF headquarters in the past years we pledged our support for a new Customs administration and management. It is our appeal that the DCG enforcement, Tariff and Trade and ACG’s of the zones should follow-up to ensure that best practices and enforcement of statutes and regulations are ensured. NAGAFF shall continue to advise the service that is a trade regulator it is their duty to control every situation of malpractices through sustained enlightenment and education of practitioners, shippers and indeed all the stakeholders who come to tract businesses with the Customs,’ said NAGAFF.