Customs records 76 trade offences in six months

Hameed Ali

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it recorded a total of 76 cases of trade related offences in the first half of the year.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, who gave the figure at an industry forum on anticorruption and prevention of revenue leakages in Lagos on Thursday, said the cases, which are currently being handled its legal unit, were recorded mainly within the Lagos zone. 

The Customs boss, who was represented at the event by the Coordinator of Zone A, Lagos, Assistant Comptroller General Aminu Dahiru, pointed out that the Service cannot do much in the area of prosecution but added that it would continue to appeal to the conscience of importers and exporters. 

“When I was posted to the zone last year, my major program was to prosecute because I believe it will serve as a deterrent in all the commands under my zone. As I am talking to you now, our legal system and legal adviser needed to be posted from the Ministry of Justice and in this zone alone for the year 2018,we have not less than 76 case files that has to do with imports and exports related offences,” he said. 

The Customs boss identified greed, desire for power and unbridled ambition as some of the factors responsible for corruption at the port and in the Nigerian society.

He blamed revenue leakage on false declaration, falsification of documents, wrong classifications, undervaluation and the issuance of waivers.