The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has Called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently replace the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) and his entire management team for their unprofessional handling of the agency.
Speaking to Ebony Herald International in Lagos the Vice President of ANLCA, Dr. Kayode Farinto said the Nigerian Customs Service needs a fresh management team comprising of Professionals .
He alleged that since Col. Ali assumed office as the Comptroller General of Customs there have been series of arbitrary charges that are not receipted nor documented while demand notices are slammed on importers at will.
Farinto Stressed further that Custom agents now faces various bureaucractic bottlenecks at various Custom command’s in clearaning their goods which, is against ease of doing business vis a vis Executive order.
Farinto said ” there are so many intervention squad, including the Customs CG taskforce that intercepts consignments that have already been cleared in a commando style”.
He stressed that the present management team needs to be rejuvenated, he. lamented that the country is now faced with a situation where it seems the Customs management team is above the law.
The association therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently change the Customs management team before the situation gets out of hand.
“We were made to believe that he was going to add value to the agency operations, I want to say that this Customs management team is not adding value, rather Ali and his team are killing the Nigerian Customs, sending our Importers to our niegbhouring countries “
Farinto said “After a set of containers have been examined and cleared, the CG taskforce within the port, will stop consignment again, the same CG taskforce will also stop us outside the ports, you can see them in Area B and Mile 2. We have compliance team of the same taskforce, adding that this is posing a big treat to international markets
Also “We have Federal Operation Units. Federal operation units smartly in the last one week has increased their unit and calling one unit SWAT as if we are in America. The full meaning of SWAT, we do not know but you need to see the kind of hassles our members go through at night.”
In the same vein Dr. Farinto said the border which the Federal government has closed is still open to summgulers who has flooded the country with contraband goods. .
” Meanwhile, our borders continue to remain porous. If you want to appreciate what I’m saying, come to Egbeda at 5:30am, you will see how cartons of Turkey are been moved in to the country unchecked. While we legitimate business men and women, who paid their duties are being disturbed within the ports”
Farinto who also a member of the board of Council of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (CRFFN) lamented that in the 48 hours, clearing agents could not make declaration, stating that the Customs command is always giving excuse of upgrading its system
which they have failed to upgrade over the weekend leading to Demurrage charges
“The big question who pays the demurrage? The question is theoretical, because it is the importers that pay and they transfer it to final consumers. It is unprofessional and uncalled for. Annoyingly, nobody detects them. I was the only one who detect them. I put a call to Abuja, there was no circular to the trading community, there was no circular to that effect, yet you are issuing out the arrival assessment report on the same HSCode you have suspended.
This people from the rank of assistant Comptroller upward are tired, they should be retired and bring in young brilliant boys and girl to the system.