Licensed Agent Flays Taskforce On Customs Reforms

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A Port Harcourt based Custom licensed agent, Ajuonuma Iwuji has condemned the setting up of the new task force to reform the Nigeria customs Service (NCS), saying the members of the reform committee have a moral burden and are not in a good position to reform the revenue agency.

According to him, the accelerated promotion of one of the committee members from the position of assistant comptroller of customs, caused a disaffection in the system and was a disincentive to diligent officers that spent years of their life toiling for the agency without promotion.

Iwuji, who is the Managing Director, Ajiwu shipping Agency Ltd, said the member, who is now retired and is believed to be unhappy with those who retired him, could use his position in the committee to get back at those who retired him from the agency.

He said that Minister of Finance was wrongly advised to constitute the committee without an input from the comptroller-General of customs as required by the enabling custom and Execise Management Act, (CEMA). He said if the Federal Government wants to reform the agency, the first thing to do would be to amend CEMA, a 1958 Act, which is no longer in time with modern trends.

He maintained that instead of these distractions with reform committee every now and then, the government should carry out a holistic amendment of CEMA and put in a constituted customs service commission that will take charge of recruitment, promotion, discipline and welfare of officers.

It will be recalled that the Federal Government recently reconstituted the presidential task force committee on the reform of Nigeria customs service, saying it is because of its intention to ensure optimal performance of the agency.