BusinessDay

Stakeholders condemn corruption allegation against Customs

Stakeholders have condemned the unverified allegations of corruption against officers of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service and the CGC Strike Force by freight forwarders.

Ibrahim Tanko, the national chairman of the NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team, warned such persons to desist from calling officers discharging their duties names.

According to him, rather than pointing accusing fingers at Customs, freight forwarders should comply with the Customs extant laws and avoid wrong classifications, false or under declarations of cargos, and underpayment of Customs duty.

Tanko advised importers and freight agents to approach their business with dignity and respect in order to avoid detention by Customs, payment of extra charges and forfeiture of cargo.

Read also: Businesses incur billions in demurrage as Customs processes drag

“Customs used to accuse freight forwarders of not being compliant and that was one of the main reasons we decided to float this Compliance Team. We started by educating the importers to do the right thing and the benefits as well as the danger of not complying with the law,” he said.

Tanko said that when the freight forwarder does the right thing that Customs would have no business stopping his or her cargo in transit.

While noting that out of 100 letters of invitation for examination from Strike Force that about 90 percent are on the false declaration, he said that freight forwarders should rather complain about the Police that detain and examine containers, which is not part of their responsibility.

“Police now write a series of letters inviting agents to come and give an explanation on a container that he had already delivered. We should not give room for someone to come and intimidate us,” Tanko added.

Fred Ajuzie, the Western Zone Coordinator, 100% Compliance Team, noted that indicting officers on legitimate duties is uncalled for, adding that such accusers are usually not compliant with the rule of engagement.

“This is why we are preaching to our members to be compliant. If they are compliant, no one would have the right to extort money from them,” he added.

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