A group, the Coalition of Maritime Professionals (CMP) has petitioned the National Assembly over the recent ‘grace period of one month’ given by the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs Service(CGC) to all motorists to proceed to their zonal offices to verify the genuineness of their Customs papers describing it as insensitive and misguided.
A statement signed by the Coordinator, Mazi Charles Obi prayed the legislators to call the CGC to order and to halt him from putting Nigerian car owners through the trauma of moving from one Customs zonal office to another in the name of cross-checking their papers.
“Of all the policies that the Nigerian Customs Service has come up with, this is the most callous. If Customs could not stop smugglers at the border, must Nigerians be made to pay for that? In the first place, why are the Customs paid with the taxpayers money. Is it not to collect revenue for the government at the ports and to police the borders? Why would they now make the people to pay for their laziness and incompetence? Why would Nigerians waste their money on the organisation’s remuneration and at the same time be made to suffer for their mistakes,” the statement queried.
According to CMP, the Nigerian Customs Service has made Nigerians travelling to their villages pass through harrowing times by making them go through series of customs checks in the name of verifying their papers.
“On most of these occasions, people’s cars they bought with their hard earned money are impounded and converted to personal use by Customs officers in the name of fake papers with nobody asking questions.
“As if that is not enough, the CGC now want his men to move into town, to mount road blocks and begin to impound people’s vehicles under the same guise,” the group declared.
CMP said that when the CGC set a target of N1.1 trillion as 2017 target for the organisation, it was obvious that the Service was going to employ unfair means to strive to get this money to please its masters at Aso Rock when Nigerians are dying of hunger.
The statement noted that even the so called grace period is designed in such a way that people will not be able to meet up so their cars will be impounded either for auctioning or converted to private use. “The Nigerian Customs gave its zonal offices for verification as “Lagos, Kaduna, Port Harcourt and NAHCO.
“How do you expect those that stay hundreds of miles away from those locations to meet up. Knowing how Custom officers work, you will discover that even when people travel this distance with these papers to them for verification, they may be asked to wait and may even be required to come the next day,” the statement alerted.
It called on the National Assembly to reverse this policy in its entirety and save Nigerian motorists unnecessary suffering at this time of time of recession.
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