19 May 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — THE Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, on Thursday in Lagos came under fire from maritime stakeholders over multiple examinations of cleared cargoes, a development that is impedes trade facilitation and the growth of commerce.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Hadeza Bala Usman said that the action of the Customs Service is against the principle of trade facilitation and called on the leadership of the service to checkmate its officers at the ports.
Usman who was represented by Mr. Sekonte Davis, Executive Director at the NPA said that the action of the officers of the Customs Service was unacceptable and negates the Executive Order of the Federal Government and the Ease of Doing Business.
The NPA boss disclosed that stakeholders are complaining of the excesses of the Customs at the ports adding that the Executive Order clearly explains Customs involvement in the examination of cargoes.
She explained that the cross checking import documents at the point of exit amount to delays and waste of time.
Stakeholders at the meeting opined that Customs officers at the point of exit of cleared cargoes are there to extort monies from either the Customs agents or imports.
A Deputy Controller of Customs who tried to put up a defence for the action Mr. Idris Yahaya said that no stakeholder can complain excepts there are infractions in the declaration of the content in the container.
Similarly, Mr Segun Oduntan Chairman, Association of Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, said that cross checking at the gate of exit amount to double examination adding that until the issue of human interface was resolved, the fraudulent activities from both agents and Customs officers cannot be eliminated