The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), on Thursday told clearing agents to send names of customs officers suspected to be involved in sharp practices at the ports to the service.
The Comptroller-General threw challenge at the practitioners while receiving the leadership of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) led by its president, Mr Tony Iju Nwabunike, at the Customs headquarters in Abuja.
While challenging the ANLCA chieftains to flush out bad elements in their midst, the Customs CG assured that he would not shield any corrupt officer.
“Please, give us the names of the bad elements in Customs, we will investigate them, if they are guilty, you will see what I will do to them.
“If customs officers and men know you are doing that, officers will also bring bad ones among you. We are suffering the consequences of allowing the bad guys to exist.
“We need to be fearless and bold to deal with this situation in our ports”, he stated.
Ali said that, no doubt, there were people involved in sharp practices among importers and clearing agents as well as among his officers and men.
The customs boss underscored the need to do away with those corrupt people in the system for the benefit of the country.
Ali said that it was not proper for the stakeholders to fold their arms and “allow the bad guys to have their ways”.
He urged importers and clearing agents to comply with the rules and regulations at the ports.
The customs boss said by the time E-Customs was introduced and put to use, it would solve most of the problems at the ports.
Earlier, the ANLCA president, Mr Iju Nwabunike had commended the Customs CG for various reforms introduced to sanitise the system, with a view to blocking leakages.
Nwabunike, however, said there were unnecessary delays in clearing vehicles at the ports.
He appealed to the customs to address the issue of multiple alerts, for ease of management of queries and avoidance of delays associated with such alerts.
He also pleaded with the customs’ boss to harmonise the amounts being charged as duty through the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) units of the service and valuation desks across the ports.
Both the association and Customs agreed to reconstitute the Customs Consultative Forum and meet regularly with a view to addressing some of the challenges.