No. I am sorry to say this but it seems Customs don’t know where they are heading. The first day they introduced PAAR to us, the Comptroller General promise us that there will no longer be alerts on consignments or query. But today, Customs issue the same PAAR, they will still query it. Where are we going? Now, they have sent junior officers from PAAR office to the port to come and conduct examination. Are the Customs officers wearing different uniform? Had it been it is police, then we would say they are different agencies but in this case they are the same officers. The resident examiners can go to the PAAR office and work while the PAAR officers come to the field. Why would they send other officers to do the same job? There is no reason for duplication of work. The CGC is just confused.
They said the officers are on attachment and if that is the case it means they have to learn from the senior officers. We heard that they are lecturing them every day because they are learning the practical aspects of the job. It is important so that we will not be having conflicts among ourselves.
Nobody is in support of it and nobody will say no to government policy. In every organization, there are checks and balances. If the deployment of the junior officers is their own checks and balances, so be it. But it should not affect the trade because they said 24 hours cargo clearance but as it is today we have not even achieved 72 hours cargo clearance.
No, they are not supposed to be in the port. The officers are only causing delay at the port. When the service providers were issuing the Risk Assessment Report (RAR) and Customs issues alert, it is understandable but Customs today is issuing PAAR yet they still give alerts. What that means is that Customs is policing Customs and they are not telling themselves the truth.
The officers here are seasoned officers above the junior ones sent to the port so I see no reason why they should duplicate functions.
No. It is not relevant. If the officers are of the senior rank and they are coming to checkmate fellow senior officers, we would have said it is ok. But how can you ask a junior officer to come and checkmate an assistant controller? It is not welcome. There are other ways the CGC can employ if he wants his eyes in the port. The CIU (Customs Intelligence Unit) officers are there and they are to monitor what is happening in the port. It is as if the CG (Customs Comptroller-General) no longer has trust in the officers at the port but we are not in support of it because it is delaying trade.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.