The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has raised alarm over what it described as over valuation of imports into the country.
The association however charged the Col Hammed Ali (Rtd)-led Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) administration to pay more attention on the issue of values for imports.
The founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam who said this in a chat with Shipping Position Daily in Apapa, said that the act will increase smuggling into the country.
"I want to really advice that the CGC needs to pay attention on the issue of value. As it is now it seems to me that imports are being overvalued. And that may not work well for the service responsibility. You know because if we do certain things to the contrary, it will come negatively. It is going to enhance and increase smuggling activities"
Aniebonam also said that full-time smugglers come through the approved routes of airports and seaport and not the ones that use motorcycles.
"So, if you think smuggling is those motorcycles coming through the border lines, they are smugglers in a very small scale sometimes they are violent. The full time smugglers are coming through the approved entry points of airport and seaport that's the truth I am telling you and they fall under concealment"
According to him, "When you conceal or under declare you are smuggling. When you make wrong description of imports you are trying to deceive customs, when you bring in prohibited goods you are also trying to deceive customs"
"That is outright because it falls under prohibition. So I still insists that I don't think the customs is doing enough in the area of the education and enlightenment of critcal stakeholders. Even at the point training customs officers are undergoing full time training in the area of capacity building but what about the freight forwarders who are the life wire"
The NAGAFF founder also called on the Customs to ensure that freight forwarders are properly educated.
"Don't forget that the customs under the leadership of CGC has three mandates of reform, restructure and enhance revenue of officers. So how do you enhance revenue, you are not going to do it alone, you are going to do it with people who come to work with you. So when you look at the people you educate and enlighten them", he concluded.