Agents accuse Customs officers of frustrating cargo clearance


Four months after assumption of office as the Controller, Apapa Area Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Musa Jubril yesterday met with stakeholders operating at the premier port with clearing agents accusing officers of the command of not showing up early for cargo examination thereby delaying clearance of goods at the ports.

This is even as the agents complained about the stringent cargo clearance measures they are made to go through since the seizure of 661 guns cleared through the command in January.

The stakeholders alleged that officers including other security agencies do not report for examination until 2pm instead of 10am.

“The time for examination is 10am but to our surprise, some of the officers and some other agencies use to come into the port around 1:30pm to 2pm and as a result we continue to incur demurrage and the time of taking delivery.

“Since the incident involving the gun seizure, most of the officers are very afraid to release goods even after you have done all the necessary requirement. They will be delaying, allowing people to incur demurrage,” aclearing agent at the meeting, Peter Okonkwo said.

Responding, Comptroller Jubril said contrary to the claims of the agents, he got report that it is the agents who report late for examination. He however promised to look into the issue.

On physical examination, he said of containers, he said “We don’t expect to slow down on that because the incident of the 661 riffles is something that we don’t want to have a repeat of and beside 100 percent physical examination will not be difficult if everybody do what they are suppose to do.”

Jubril urged clearing agents to be more patriotic when they conduct their transactions with Customs. He charged them to improve on their level of compliance in cargo clearance.