The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has set up a compliance committee to check the series of infractions allegedly perpetrated by some of its members and to enforce rules guiding cargo declaration and clearing.
Speaking during a press conference in Lagos on Monday, Chairman of the ANLCA compliance committee, Lameen Aliyu, said the committee was necessitated by the concerns expressed by the House of Representatives Committee on Customs and Excise, which accused members of the association of refusing to cooperate with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in the performance of its statutory duties.
“This committee was set up by the President of ANLCA, Tony Iju Nwanunike, to remedy the allegation raised against the association by the House of Representatives which suggested that we are obstructing the operations of the Nigeria Customs Service. And we the committee members are here to say we are ready to synergize with the Nigeria Customs Service by enforcing discipline in terms of cargo declaration and payment of duties especially.
“When we went to the Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), for a meeting in Abuja, he said when he resumed office he was nicknamed ‘carry and go Comptroller’. However, he said nothing of such would happen again, and that duty would be paid on every container.
“We must cooperate with the Federal Government in generating revenue to the coffer of the country and this would be achieved by enforcing compliance on our members and other port operators.
“If anybody is caught, he should be ready to face the wrath of the law because the committee members would be physically present to enforce the compliance,” Aliyu said.
A copy of the letter sent to the association by the Chairman, House Committee on Customs and Excise, Leke Abejide, was released to journalists a the press briefing by Aliyu.
The letter titled ‘Allegations of obstruction of Nigeria Customs statutory duty of 100% physical examination of containers and cargoes’, reads in part: “The House Committee has received numerous petitions about your members’ refusal to cooperate with the Nigeria Customs in its bid to carry out its statutory duty of 100% physical examination of containers and cargoes making its way into the country. It is no more news that undeclared arms and ammunitions and contraband continuously make its way through the Nigerian ports, airports, and border stations (sic).
“The House Committee hereby uses this medium to unequivocally express its displeasure towards the ceaseless allegations alleged against your members, and further wishes to remind your members that such illegal acts do not only frustrate the efforts of the Federal Government and the Nigeria Customs Service in its drive to prevent illicit inflows but also shortchanges the revenue that should be earned by the Federal Government.”
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