Agent accuses Tin Can Customs command of flouting Dikko’s directive on query unit

Two months after the directive by the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdulahi, to disengage  the Query and Amendment Unit from value-related functions at the various Customs commands, the Tin-Can Island Command is yet to comply with the directive, SHIPS & PORTS DAILY has gathered.

The NCS had in the circular signed by Deputy  Comptroller, Trade & Tariff, Aliu G. T, directed that “the valuation unit takes over value-related functions hitherto being covered by the Q & A seat in the commands.”

The directive, according to Aliu, was to further enhance the revenue profile of the service.

Agents operating at the command have however expressed their dissatisfaction that the directive is yet to be complied with.

According to the agents, the unit still handles value- related functions because they see it as an avenue to extort from agents and thus, to enrich themselves.

Former chairman, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA) Tin can Island chapter, Kayode Farinto, said that so far, the directive has not been complied with as the unit does not only query PAAR issued, but also interfere in value-related functions.

According to him, the command refused to stop the unit’s involvement in value-related functions in a bid to extort from agents.

He said: “A circular from the customs headquarters has collapsed the Query and Amendment unit and any post- modification must be done by valuation. But this law is only being obeyed in Apapa. In Tin-Can, they are still using Q&A unit to extort from our members.”

When contacted, image maker of the command, Chris Osunkwo, debunked the allegation, saying that issues relating to value were no longer handled by the unit, but by valuation.

He explained that the unit had been withdrawn from all terminals operating under the command since the directive was issued, but only operates at the Command’s Processing Center (CPC) to ensure check and balances, as well as corrects classification issues.

“If there is any issue that bothers on valuation in the command, it is now handled by the valuation unit. What the Q&A unit does now is to ensure that classification and HS codes are appropriate.  If it is a matter of classification or when there is alert on consignments, we send it to CPC and the Q&A unit monitors. It is their job to call the attention of the particular terminal where the consignment is to be careful with the concerned declaration because of the alert placed on it,” he said.

Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to as the source.