The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has decried corruption, lack of professionalism and incompetence in the current management team of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) which they allege hinder easy trade facilitation at the ports.
The clearing agents lamented that while the nation’s border still remained porous despite being shut for months with trading community suffering as a result of the closure, smuggling of various items is still ongoing through the borders. The clearing agents alleged that incompetence on the part of current Customs management team has hindered clearing of cargoes and incurring demurrages for importers, against which they called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack present management team of the Service led by the Comptroller General of NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd).
Speaking to select journalists yesterday at Apapa port, the Vice President of Association of the Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Mr. Kayode Farinto, said there is urgent need for Federal Government to rejuvenate and constitute a fresh management, which will be headed by a career and young vibrant officer to give the service a new direction.
Farinto alleged that since Col. Ali came on board, there have been arbitrary demand notice slammed on importers, adding that Customs agents now faces several bottlenecks in the clearance of goods, which is against the Ease of Doing Business at the nation’s ports.
He alleged: “There are so many intervention squad, including the Customs CG taskforce that intercept consignment that has already been cleared in a commando form. The present management teams need to be rejuvenated and the only thing that should be done is to sack the management team and reconstitute a new vibrant management teams. According to him, the country is now faced with a situation where it seems the Customs management team is above the law, adding that the current Customs management team is no longer controlled by Ministry of Finance. “They need to change the Customs management team now.