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Freight forwarders decry incessant revocation of Customs licences

Godwin Oritse
A group under the aegis of Unified Customs Licensed Practitioners (UCLP) has decried the continued revocation of Customs licences without recourse to the 21 days grace period provided for in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA)

The group’s Chairman, Prince Mike Okorie said the actions of these Customs Area Comptrollers (CACs) and Heads of Zonal Headquarters were beginning to give agents cause to worry.

Okorie noted that most of the licences ran into troubled waters as a result of the dirty jobs the licenses were used for, adding that most of the so-called dirty jobs were facilitated by Customs officers.

The seasoned freight forwarder explained that the documentation relating to the consignments that led to the revocation of licenses were perused by all relevant units of the Nigeria Customs Service who should have seen the problem and nipped it in the bud even before the goods were examined.

He, however, appealed to the Comptroller-General of Customs to call his officers who aid and abet corrupt agents to beat the system.
“What struck me the most was the blocking of the agency by Area Commands and Zonal Headquarters without giving the mandatory 21 days notice as stimulated by the company and Allied Matters Act.

“Another case in question is the one at Lilypond Area Command where post-audit gave Debit Notes (D/N) to goods that have exited by the Command based on the value, not by any discrepancy or duties default.

“I also want to appeal to the Comptroller-General of Customs to come to our aid by putting in place disciplinary measures that will check corrupt officers.

“We are now asking the CG to mandate his men to say no to fraudulent agents who might come with an idea to defraud the Federal Government of the much needed revenue now that the whole world is experiencing economic crisis.
“Furthermore, NCS should desist from arresting agents who come to pay their Debit Notes issued by the Customs.


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