Following recent allegations by freight forwarders of massive corrupt practices perpetuated by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the National Chairman of NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko has condemned such unverified allegations.
The NAGAFF Chieftain made this known in a press statement issued yesterday, describing some of the accusations as malicious and baseless.
It will be recalled that some freight agents voiced their displeasure in a recent media outburst against the operations of Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service and the CG’s Strike Force, labeling the activities of both units as extortion.
Alhaji Tanko, however, has warned that some of these critics are known to be involved in failed attempts at blackmailing Customs officials who are diligently performing their duties in compliance to the extant Customs laws.
Tanko who is currently a member of the CRFFN Governing Council advised importers and freight agents to approach their business with dignity and respect in order to avoid interceptions, extra charges and forfeiture of their cargoes
“You remember when we started this campaign on compliance, we are not the ones that insisted on it. It was is Customs, in fact, the government agencies. They were the people who initially accused freight forwarders of not being compliant. That is the main reason NAGAFF decided to float this Compliance Team.”
“Today, this Compliance Team is over two years old. We started our sensitization from the importers. These are the people we relate with directly. They are our customers. We spent six months educating them to do the right thing and the benefits of complying as well as the inherent dangers of doing the wrong thing. A lot of people loose their containers because they refused to do the right thing.”
Tanko argued that a genuine freight agent who has done the right documentation and payments wouldn’t be bothered if one million government agencies are on the road.
“Whether there are one million Customs officials on the road wouldn’t bother you because when they say give me your documents, you give them your documents. They examine it and find you have one thousand pieces of generator as declared and made correct duty payment. Are they going to give you another DN, the answer is no,” Tanko argued.
Speaking also, the Western Zone Coordinator, 100% Compliance Team, Dr. Fred Ajuzie expressed shock at the allegations levelled against Customs.
Dr. Ajuzie stressed that indicting Customs who are carrying out their legitimate duties is uncalled for, adding that it shows the accusers are not compliant to the rules of engagement.
“This is what we are preaching to our members, freight forwarders to be compliant. If they are compliant, would anyone have the right to extort money from them? If you see any freight forwarder complaining, it means he is not compliant. He is engaging in false declaration of cargoes.”
“The 100% Compliance Team of NAGAFF frowns at any freight forwarder who is not doing the right thing”, he added.