The Nigeria Customs Service has said that introduction of Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) strike force in cargo clearance at the ports, is an effort intended to complement the efforts of the resident officers.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Tin Can Island port Command of the service, Mr. Uche Ejesieme, a Superintendent of customs, said this in a chat with Shipping Position Daily.
He also debunked insinuations that the introduction of the strike force as a part of cargo examination is a tactical vote of no confidence on resident officers, saying that this is an erroneous impression.
Ejesieme also added that the strike force, Federal Operations Units (FOUs) and resident customs officers are working together.
“I think it will be very pertinent to make some clarifications pertaining to some of the narratives you have read in the papers and social media regarding the issue of strike force, FOUs and resident officers to the extent that people are trying to insinuate that maybe it is tactical vote of no confidence on the resident officers”
“I want to say very clearly that it is actually an erroneous impression. In the wisdom of the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) Col Hammed Ali and the management, they have actually seen the need for us to ensure that we apply more strict measures in conducting our examinations and the way we run in the seaports. So first and foremost, I will like to say that the strike force, FOU and resident officers, they are all working together. They are deliberate creations of CGC and taskforce is to make sure that issue of checks and balances are enhanced”, he stressed.
The Customs spokesperson however said that the essence of bringing the Strike Force at the port is to ensure strict checks and balances, adding that it is very important that the service keeps to their mandatory functions stressing that the move is also intended to block any form of revenue leakages.
“What is important is for us to ensure that those statutory functions of the service like revenue collection, facilitation of legitimate trade and stopping smuggling amongst others are well harmonized and synchronized”, he added.
The Tin Can Island Customs image maker called on importers to comply with the rules and regulations guiding the trade, adding that the service can only facilitate legitimate trade
He added that, “don’t forget that you can only facilitate legitimate trade, if you are compliant, you don’t have to fear anything no matter the nomenclature. The bottom line is for you to be compliant”.
“The issue is bordering on non-compliance to the physical policy if you comply you won’t have any course to worry no matter how difficult you think anybody can be. And don’t forget, some of the accusations are just the writer’s imagination. We are not saying that we have gotten everything right but the good things is that we are working every day to ensure that those gaps are blocked” he old our correspondent.