Ensuring High Operational Standards in Nigeria Customs

PRESS RELEASE

The attention of NAGAFF Headquarters has been drawn to the efforts of the
leadership of the Nigeria Customs Service under Compt. Musa Mba to develop
and ensure sustainable operational standards in transacting business with
the Nigeria Customs Service under his watch in TCIP command.

It is our wish and desire to state clearly that over time in the customs
operations that it has been a case of regrets that NCS is yet to fully
actualize equitable operations in dealing with people who come to transact
businesses with the service. The irony of it all is that these traders are
not being encouraged and supported in utmost good faith to compete among
themselves in the open market. A trip to FOU Ikeja and the CGC Strikeforce
depot presents a sorry state of variation of discoveries made during
second examination of interdicted laden containers by the intervention
forces of the service. We regret to state that proper customs examination
under destination inspection regime has been in the extreme abused.

Therefore the current efforts of the leadership of TCIP of the customs
command to ensuring operational standards is most appreciated and obliged.
In this regard, NAGAFF and its members would continue to support and
encourage the command to do everything possible to ensure even competition
among traders who come to transact businesses with the command.
Accordingly, all NAGAFF members are hereby directed to engage all customs
operations in utmost good faith and professionalism.  To achieve this
objective, it shall be procedural that declarations made for customs
purposes must be purposeful, genuine and with a measure of integrity. When
we do this, the intervention forces of the FOU and CGC Strikeforce will be
rendered irrelevant on our city and federal high ways.

However, it is our advice that the customs examiners should adhere to
professionalism to ensure proper customs examination with a view to
interdicting all matters of untrue declarations for customs purposes.  We
appreciate the standards and peaceful business environment in Apapa port
and believing that it should be sustained. We must state that thereafter
the CGC visited NAGAFF headquarters in the past years we pledged our
support for a new Customs administration and management.  It is our appeal
that the DCG enforcement, Tariff and Trade and ACG's of the zones should
follow-up to ensure that best practices and enforcement of statutes and
regulations are ensured. NAGAFF shall continue to advise the service that
as a trade regulator it is their duty to control every situation of
malpractices through sustained enlightenment and education of
practitioners, shippers and indeed all the stakeholders who come to tract
businesses with the Customs.

To connive with the trading public to cheat on government despite oath of
office is most unfortunate, disloyal and unpatriotic. Even though we
cannot separate some of these officers, traders and freight forwarding
agents involved in the various unwholesome acts against the customs laws
in a corrupt society, we urge all stakeholders to join hands with the
Nigeria Customs Service to build a greater Nigeria of our dream. We must
inform all practitioners that NAGAFF has unfettered access to the highest
level of Customs Service management team, NPA, NIMASA. POLICE, NDLEA, NSC,
SON, NAFDAC, ETC to present and defend practitioners who are compliant to
import and export regulations in the course of carrying out their
statutory duty in the customs ports and border control areas. And for
practitioners who may not understand the benefit of operational standards
it is basically to encourage and facilitate trade. It is also to save
trade, enhance revenue collection, protect life and property and
interdiction of external attack on Nigeria.

It is our view that the NCS management should at all time encourage trade
without compromising standards. The customs examiners should standup to be
counted in the new Customs approach to attaining professionalism. To us in
NAGAFF, Customs examination is simple and unambiguous.  It is the key to
destination inspection if the policy must succeed. The freight forwarding
agents and traders are business groups whose objective always is to
maximise profit.  Therefore the worst scenario should be that agents of
Government are found to be conniving with the traders to cheat on
Government interest.  We therefore wish to reaffirm our support to the
leadership of NCS in TCIP to enforce standard operating conditions of the
service and facilitation of international trade without compromising
standards.


REV. EMMA AGUBANZE
Head of Special Duty
NAGAFF Headquarters

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