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Group calls for ban on task force on ports congestion

By AbdulSalam Muhammad

KANO — Operators of cargo services in the country has called for the disbandment of the Comptroller General Task Force to enliven the dream of speedy clearance of goods with 48 hours at the ports.

Spokesman of the group, Chief Patrick Agbator, in a paper presented to the Presidential Task Force on Nigerian Customs Services during an interactive session in Kano explained that the activities of the Task Force under direct supervision of the Comptroller General frustrate genuine effort.

Agbator said the establishment of the Task Force was a duplication of the function of Area Commanders who originally are briefed to carry out the same assignment, pointing out that the effort was unnecessary.

“The CG Task Force tend to compound the problem by overwhelming the Area Commander with their overbearing posture of coming from the headquarters, hence goods that have been cleared are subjected to another round of inspection rigours,” he said.

Agbator said total elimination of the office of the Comptroller General Task Force remained the best option to achieve the set target.

“They intimidate the area commanders as if they are under their control. In most cases when goods are cleared and released by the area commanders, this same CG task force will go ahead and intercept the same goods. They will subject the same cleared
goods to another procedure of clearance so this anomaly will constitute hiccups which hinder goods delivery and betray the Nigerian customs’ campaign to clear goods within 48 hours.”

In his response, Deputy Chairman of the Presidential Task Force, Alhaji Ahmad Muhammad Mustapha said they would strive to address the myriad of problems hindering the realisation of the 48-hour clearance of goods.

“It is true that there are some factors threatening the issue of customs as well as creating unnecessary bottle neck to
effectiveness and efficiency of customs as well as the issue of 48 hours good clearance, these called for the a meeting with
the stakeholders to rub minds and proffer solution,”  Muhammad said.

The Deputy Chairman said a sub-committee had been set up to fine tune ways of attaining the 48 hours clearance of good adding that the task force has the interest of the country at heart.

He called for memoranda from the general public to be forwarded to the task force, saying without the support of all stakeholders, it would not be easy for the body to achieve any serious result.


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