20 August 2015, Lagos – A former President, National Council of Managing Directors of the Licensed Customs Agents, Mr. Lucky Amiwero, has called for the investigation of the current operation of the Destination Inspection scheme.
The Nigeria Customs Service had last year taken over the management of the DI from the private sector service providers, and this entails the processing of cargo clearance.
Amiwero, who is also Chairman, Sub-committee of the Draft report, Presidential Task Force on the Reform of the Nigeria Customs Service, said, “There is an urgent need for proper investigation of the NCS on the state of the DI scheme, the one per cent FOB collection, the movement of collection with other headings not approved and a total reform of the service with a professional as the head for effective service delivery.
“From January to June 2014, the port system collapsed due to the delay in the issuance of the Pre Arrival Assessment Report by the NCS, which in some instances took up to three months.
“Many importers lost their cargo in the process due to the huge demurrage and rent that in certain cases tripled the cost of the goods.”
Amiwero lamented the alleged frequent breakdown of some components of the DI scheme, including the scanners, causing the examination of cargo to be done physically.
He said the return of the manual era had made the clearing process cumbersome and costly.
He recalled that the recommendations of the task force for a successful transfer of the DI scheme to the NCS included an audit of all equipment and assets to be handed over by the service provides to be carried out by qualified personnel and the NCS DI transition team.
The team, according to him, should comprise officers carefully selected by the NCS, having undergone a agreed training programme based on each officer’s specialisation such as valuation, classification, image analysis and level of knowledge and expertise.
The NCS in a report, however, described the problems, which arose when it took over the scheme as temporary.
The former Comptroller General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko, had said the former service providers had abandoned some unfinished Risk Assessment Reports to the customs.