By IFEYINWA OBI
LAGOS—The Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘A’ of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Assistant Comptroller-General, Mohammed Othman, has accused some Nigerian importers of short-changing government in the payment of duties.
Mohammed, who stated this when he led Area Controllers in the Zone on a courtesy visit to Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos, said some importers bring in their goods under the guise of free trade zones, thereby evading customs duties.
Noting that such goods were later brought to the open market for sale, the comptroller said “in recent times, there had been cases of diversion, where people import and pretend the goods are for the free zones so that they would be released free of duty but they turn round to divert them into the Nigerian market without adding any value, which is criminal.”
Othman said with the facilities put in place by the service, clearing of goods at the ports had been made easy when documentation are honestly declared.
Oba Akiolu noted that while the Nigeria Customs may have recorded high achievements as regards its reforms and modernization, there was need to constantly protect the nation’s porous borders.
He assured the service of his support in sensitising Lagosians on the consequences of smuggling.