Customs rejects extension for provisional release of consignments

Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Abdullahi Inde Dikko has rejected appeal from clearing agents to extend the provisional release of consignments.

The provisional release window was created by NCS in December last year to clear over 99,000 unprocessed Risk Assessment Report (RAR) following its takeover of destination inspection regime from the service providers.

At the expiration of its January 31st deadline, the customs management had last month granted an extension of two weeks due to demand from agents and to enable it clear the backlog of over 4,000 applications still pending under the RAR platform.

However, the agents are again demanding further extension of the pre-release process as they lamented that the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) is not coming out as expected.

“The PAAR he promised six hours is taking one month. It means he is not doing anything. He has to extend the provisional release. It is our right, otherwise shipping companies and terminal operators will continue to charge us for customs own delay and incompetence” a clearing agent, Comrade Ikechukwu Okafor said.

But the customs boss yesterday out rightly refuses the request of the agents.

Addressing them after a closed door meeting with Area Controllers, Deputy and Assistant Controllers under the Lagos Zone at Apapa command; Dikko said the agents have not been making honest declaration, hence government has directed that the scheme be stopped.

“You are not making correct assessment and everybody is doing what they like, so the government said I should tell you there is no extension. They realize that people are short-changing the government. So why should it continue? I do not make the laws,” he said.

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