06 March 2014, Lagos – Freight forwarders have commended the Comptroller General of Customs, Dikko Abdullahi, for his impromptu visit to Tin-can Inland Command which resulted in the arrest of two Customs officers on Monday.
The freight forwarders charged the Customs boss to continue with such visit as this would help ride the system of corruption.
President of the Institute of Freight Forwarding of Nigeria, Zeb Ikhokide, said the Customs boss’s action was a step in the right direction, stressing that if it is sustained, it help clean up the Service.
According to him, “I think it is a good omen.
If he continues like that the system would be cleansed up on the side of the Customs. If the system is clean other port users would queue behind them and do the right thing.
“If we still have some bad eggs like that in the customs, they can easily corrupt other port users and people will now start thinking that you can do anything with money and arrange things like that which would actually spoil the system.
It can spoil a good system, if the system is good and if the operators are not careful, if they do not put people of integrity in the system to drive the system, the system would go wrong.
“I think what the Comptroller General did was a very good thing. I think what he should do is to also give power to his Deputy Comptroller Generals of Customs, DCGs to go round like that to make sure that the system is fully cleaned up, if not, it is the Customs themselves that will spoil the system.”
On his part, Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniegbonam, when asked his reaction to the alleged arrest, said he doubts if anything has actually happened.
In his words,”I do not think anything has happened as far as I am concerned because I have not seen the material evidence. If they say something was found on them, where is it or where is it kept?
Chief Executive of Maritime Media Limited, Elder Asu Beks, said though the action is the step in the right direction but noted that it is like a drop in the ocean. He challenged the Customs boss to do far more than he has so far done.
He however observed that is it not even important as there are other pressing issues to be addressed by the management of the Customs and challenged to focus their attention on the border post.
*Godfrey Bivbere – Vanguard