Atte sets N35bn weekly revenue target for Customs Commands

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The Acting Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Dr. John Atte on Thursday frowned at revenue leakages at the nation’s ports and gave Area Controllers marching orders to increase their weekly revenue collection from the current N13 billion to N35 billion.

The directive was part of decisions taken during a strategy session of Customs management and Customs Area Controllers in Abuja.

The session, presided over by Atte was convened to discuss various areas of revenue leakages and put in place measures to plug them.

In a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Customs, Wale Adeniyi, the Ag. Comptroller-General directed the immediate setting up of anti-corruption seats in all Area Commands to monitor officers’ conduct and report to his office accordingly.

On anti-smuggling activities, the Federal Operations Units were directed to intensify their border patrols to bring smugglers to book. However, the meeting directed an immediate review of operational procedures to give maximum effect to the ban on all hinterland patrols in the country. Similarly, all Task Forces under any name or guise operating in all seaports, airports and land borders were disbanded with immediate effect.

Officers serving in these adhoc units were to be withdrawn and redeployed immediately.

The meeting directed Area Controllers to take full control of their areas, stressing that they will be held responsible for staff conduct and discipline in their jurisdictions.

Meanwhile the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) on Friday advised Atte to review cases of blacklisted Customs agents’ licenses.

NAGAFF Deputy National President Fred Akokhia said in a statement in Lagos that Atte should act fast to win the support of officers and industry stakeholders.

The statement said that a comprehensive list of officers who had been unduly and unnecessarily denied promotion since 2004 should be produced.

It said the new administration should disband “the so-called PAAR Ruling Centre officers at the various ports forthwith”, adding that every committee or taskforce should be dissolved.

“The zonal offices should be made to function immediately to ease port congestions.

“The sale of overtime goods and seized items should be returned to the zones, the Valuation Unit, Customs Investigation Unit and Inspectorate Division.

“An Anti-Corruption Unit of NCS must be strengthened as a matter of urgency to fall in line with the dictates of our new government,” the statement said.

It added that it was time port operators should begin to rebuild confidence and professionalism in the service.

The association said President Buhari had appreciated the level of work done by the management team of the Customs.