The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has blamed the unprofessional conduct of some of its members as reasons why they suffer extortion in the hands of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) officials.
Speaking with SHIPS & PORTS, the Vice-Chairman, ANLCA PTML/Grimaldi chapter, Sunday Charle Nwarinne berated members of the association and other clearing agents for their unethical practice, which he said creates opportunity for extortion by Customs officials.
“You can declare your goods and after physical examination, Customs confirms that it aligns with what you declared, then there is no way Customs would have reason to charge you. But when there is an infraction between what was declared and what was discovered by the Customs after physical examination, you end up negotiating, which attracts huge financial burden.
“Golf model 2000 to 2009 cars for instance; if you calculate the whole duty, it is almost around N375,000. Having paid that huge amount of money to Customs coffer but because what you declared is not in consonance with what was examined, you pay more. Gradually, you are running into a loss.
“That is why I am charging the agents not to give Customs platform to enslave them. They call it extortion but you cause it. Customs are even lenient because while that infraction is detected, they are supposed to hand you over to the police and try you in court but instead they tell you to pay some amount of money for your car to be cleared,” he said.