The Customs Consultative Committee (CCC) set up by Comptroller-General of Customs Dikko Inde Abdullahi to promote trade facilitation and monitor level of compliance of government policies by both Customs personnel, importers and their agents yesterday in Lagos kick-started its proposed series of capacity building programme for the members.
The resource person at the interactive session, which held at the ASYCUDA Conference Room, Zone ‘A’ Headquarters, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Deputy Comptroller Ambrose Okafor, explained that the workshop is aimed at training CCC members on aspects of Customs procedures for them to be better prepared in educating the trading public.
Okafor said that the trading public does not follow the right procedures due to ignorance, noting that, for trade to be facilitated, every person must be compliant.
Described as first of its kind, some members of the committee, who spoke with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, said that the seminar is a good step in the right direction, noting that it is an eye-opener, even to them who had been in the system, to further enlighten the importing public.
A CCC member and the President, Agric Coker Building Plumbing Market Association, Mr. Golden Ani, said that 80 per cent of importers do not know the right way to handle their importation and make documentation due to ignorance.
“The importers import goods and hand over documents to the agents, even when the agents do all sort of things and try to manipulate documents. 80 per cent of the importers are not aware of all this, and tomorrow Customs will come after them, writing to them to come and pay some duties after they have finished transactions for a long time. With this capacity building, we will be able to let them (importers) know the implication of their actions, so that each time they import, they should be able to handle their own document from their own office,” Ani said.
The workshop had provided the CCC members ample opportunity to be lectured by the amiable resource person, interact and ask questions on Customs Clearance Procedures and the Single Window Project, among other topics.