Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Days Of Corruption In Customs Over – CG Hameed Ali

Col. Hameed Ali, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on Monday said corrupt practices would no longer be tolerated from its officers or clearing agents.
Ali made the assertion while addressing stakeholders at his maiden working visit to the Apapa Area Command in Lagos.
“The days of corruption are gone. Anybody caught shall not be left to go scot-free. I am a stickler for the enforcement of the law.
“There is need for law and order, and it is important to follow the rules as they are so that we all do not have problems,’’ he said.

He said that his mandate as the Comptroller-General was to reform, structure the service and importantly, collect revenue for government.
He noted that it was possible for customs to clear goods from the port within 48 hours if there were no falsification of declaration of goods.

The customs boss said that in carrying out his assignment, he would ensure that all acts of cutting corners by some importers and agents were stopped.
Ali said in that regard, anybody culpable would risk being jailed because the greatest challenge had been that of non-compliance with the rules of operation.
He, however, assured the stakeholders of his readiness to deal with any officer found wanting by demanding money from them.

Ali also urged the agents to ensure that they got properly trained by way of capacity building, to help them function adequately as demanded by new technologies.
He said he had not come to make things difficult for operators, rather, he was there to ensure orderliness and conformity to the law.

Meanwhile, the stakeholders raised issues on challenges they were facing in carrying out their operations.
Dr Kayode Farinto, the Public Relations Officer of the Association of Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) raised the issue of obsolete and faulty scanners at the ports.
He also complained of incessant alerts coming from multiple sources, as well as the challenge of opening Form “M’’ due to the FOREX restriction by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“We want the Comptroller-General to look into the problem of obsolete scanners being used at the port.

“It is also a problem now to raise Form M due to the CBN restriction on FOREX.
“All these cause delays in clearing cargo; so, cargoes are trapped in the port and we all know what that means,’’ Farinto said.
He urged the customs boss to make trade facilitation a cardinal point of his administration.
He also said the service should consider the law stating that operating customs license be issued only to corporate bodies and not to individuals.
Mr Chuks Ijemanze, a member of ANLCA at the Lillypond Command, lamented the lack of transfer of containers to the off dock terminal.
Daily Post.

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