ANLCA boss, Shittu, advises Customs officers to be familiar with extant rules
… Distances self from dues collection inside ports
Officers of the Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have been advised to be conversant with the provisions of the extant Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), and the Common External Tariff (CET) regime, as well as explanatory notes in their various operations.
The National President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA), Prince Olayiwola Shittu, who gave the advice at a training session initiated by the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Charles Edike, for Assistant Superintendents II serving at the Command on Monday said that understanding of the operational guidelines of cargo clearance in the ports will enable officers discharge their duties effectively, especially when they have to defend their actions.
Shittu noted that, while the Service enforces the policies of the Federal Government, the Customs agents implement the set rules, hence, according to him, in interfacing with the agents, clarity of what is expected of them should be uppermost in the officers’ minds.
He further advised the officers to utilise their weekends and public holidays to improve their knowledge in order to make the desired progress in their chosen careers, even as he urge them to be courteous in relating with others.
The ANLCA chieftain told the officers never to report what they are not sure of during physical examination, and to also not allow money be their main focus at the expense of doing the right thing.
The CAC had thanked Prince Shittu for his time in training the officers, noting that they must have been the better for it because of the practical examples in the lecture.
Meanwhile, the ANLCA National President has said that it is not right for an association to collect money from its members within the port premises.
Shittu spoke in reaction to one of the recommendations contained in the report submitted by the committee set up by the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, to address and proffer solutions to the problem of congestion at the Lagos ports, which stated that freight forwarding associations should stop the collection of fees from their members inside the port premises.
While fielding questions from journalists at the ANLCA National Secretariat in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, on Monday, one of which was how he felt about this particular recommendation, Shittu said that the adoption of this recommendation by the Transport Minister is a right step in the right direction.
“It is not right and professional for an association to say that they’ll be collecting money in the ports. We have been saying this one for so long.
At the national level, we are not in support of collection fees inside the ports,” he said.
The ANLCA boss explained that there had been adhoc arrangements made at the chapter levels of the association where it was agreed among members that they contribute money their respective chapter’s purse for handling of their welfare.
He said that “there was no general declaration that this is where ANLCA is going to be collecting money.”
Shittu said that he is staunchly against the act of any freight forwarding association collecting money from its members within the port premises, noting that ANLCA has worked out better ways of collecting dues from its members without having to do so inside the ports.
He said: “Collection of dues from members till date … the present leadership … I can tell you that our members have never at anytime raised eyebrows over collection. The monies being collected was approved by our members at a town hall meeting in 2010/2011, where they voluntarily decided to contribute money from their income to sustain the association. I can also tell you that that was an improved way of collection, because, before then, taskforces were set up who go about harassing people at the gate.
Remember the period of Lucky Amiwero, who went to court? Those were the days when things were not being done professionally. But, I can tell you that we don’t have anybody chasing anybody to collect money. We have even designed a better means of collecting money from our people where they pay their money yearly for the purpose of running the affairs of the association.”
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