Customs Comptroller Flays Cargo Inspection Method

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Comptroller of Apapa Area I Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Alhaji Idris Suleiman, says the one-stop-shop cargo examination system at the port is not working.

Suleiman disclosed this at a stakeholders’ forum organised by the command in Lagos.

“We should own up that we have failed in the one-stop-shop cargo examination exercise and go back to the drawing board,” he said.

Suleiman said there were complaints that some security agencies attached to the examination points were not showing up and that delay in releasing goods had added to the cost of cargo clearance.

He said that the service would henceforth release goods even if any of the security agencies refused to show up for the examination.

Suleiman urged customs officials in charge of cargo examination to always report any security official that failed to show up for the cargo examination.

“There is need for customs to overrule any security agency not at the examination point because customs has been taking the blame,’’ he said.

Suleiman said that there would be a meeting of all security agencies within the next two weeks to discuss extensively the one- stop- shop cargo examination.

Mr John Ofobike, Chairman of Apapa Area 1 Chapter of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), said that the agents were reluctant to take examination forms to the security agencies for signatures.

Chief Boniface Aniebonam, Founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), said “whenever it is time for examination, any security agency not there should be overruled’’.

A senior official of the State Security Service (SSS) who pleaded anonymity, called for the co-operation of all stakeholders.

An official of the National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), who pleaded anonymity, had earlier alleged that containers were being released without signatures of relevant security agencies on customs examination.

“Sometimes containers were released without the signatures of all the relevant security agencies, ‘’he alleged.