Newly appointed Area Controller, PTML command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Ronke Olubiyi has lamented the influx of unauthorised persons at the command even as she has appealed to the leadership of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) to provide port pass to its members.
Olubiyi made the appeal on Tuesday when the newly inaugurated executives of ANLCA PTML chapter led by the Zonal Coordinator, John Ofobike paid a courtesy visit to her office.
Olubiyi stated that uncontrolled access as become a tradition at the ports noting that most of the people loitering around at the command do not have genuine business to transact at the ports.
She said when port pass are issued, it will help check the influx of unwanted persons at the command and only those who show genuine means of identification will be granted access.
She said, “If you can, please I’m begging you to help us control the crowd because you can do it. If somebody is not needed somewhere what is he doing there? This is the main problem we have here. We are like tyre and tube. One hand cannot do it so we need your support. Whatever it is that you need in form of advice or request, my door is open always.
“In every Customs formation, it has become almost a tradition to have people who are not even relevant to the environment. You are licensed owners. There is an authority card that will only allow the people who are working directly with you to engage in activities on your behalf in customs. But unfortunately, even if we have to count the number of people who are really licensed here and the number of people we have out there, it is outrageous.”
The Customs boss also solicited the support of ANLCA to educate its members on the need to always give genuine declaration on their customs documentation to facilitate trade and avoid delay of their consignment.
In his response, Ofobike noted that uncontrolled access as become a menace to the nation’s seaports adding that in view of the security challenges in the country, the port environment must not be seen or allowed to be used as relaxation spots.
He said most of the agents loitering around the command are not members of ANLCA but promised to sensitize members of the association on the need to always remain in their offices if they do not have any business to do at the port.
“This has become a menace every where there is port you see the influx of people and looking at the security challenge in the country, we must take steps to guide ourselves We are going to sensitize our members that if they don’t have anything to do here, they better don’t come,” he said.
While pledging to work with the new customs boss, Ofobike also urged her to always carry along the association chapter executives in whatever decisions taken by the command.
“We have other mushroom associations here but they are not licensed customs agents. We are the ones that are licensed by Customs. So there is no how you can ignore us. We are going to continue to work with you,” he said.
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