All Customs Licensed
Agents operating in Port Harcourt Area II Command, Onne, Rivers State, have been charged to always comply with the Federal Government’s fiscal policy in all their transactions.
The Customs Area Controller, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Onne Port Complex, Hamzat Gummi gave the charge at a stakeholders interactive forum held in the area, recently.
Gummi noted that the forum was organised inorder to interact and create a better working relationship in the operational activities, adding that it also tackled some possible grey areas that might be a bottleneck in the smooth documentations and clearance of goods at the port.
According to him, the forum was called due to some infractions on documentation by agents and manifest that are being deliberately blocked to avoid impending problem on cargo clearance at the port, as most agents have formed the habit of indulging in false declaration of cargo, which would not be tolerated.
He opined that, “customs are here to enforce compliance on fiscal policies of the Federal Government with a view to generating more revenue to the federal coffers,” warning that, “I will deal decisively with false declaration and possibly seize such container”.
The Onne customs boss further enjoined the agents to always ensure that they adhere to the policies governing cargo clearance at the port, adhere strictly on the compliance at all times to avoid friction, stressing that the non-compliance to existing procedures and rules on cargo clearance by most agents had been an issue, and charged them for proper documentations.
He also frowned at the recent congestion at the gate of the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT), and that despite concerted efforts by the customs with the introduction of a seamless gate operations which was aimed at facilitating prompt cargo clearance in the port in line with best global practice, it has been discovered that some agents influenced activities to protect their clearance of cargoes.
Gummi, however, warned that henceforth such unwholesome activities would not be tolerated as those who violate the rules will be dealt with in accordance with the law.
In a response, the secretary of ANLCA, Onne Port Chapter, Ifeanyi Isikaku had noted that the problems at the gate were mainly caused by some cartels that allegedly aid and abet the clearance of cargo without proper examination and that the association is ever ready to comply with the policy as well as co-operate with the customs to facilitate trade and revenue generation.