National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has said that by conduct the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) portrays itself as the most corrupt agency in Nigeria and beyond.
According to a statement signed by NAGAFF Secretary General, Arthur Igwilo, “The Nigeria Customs Service arbitrarily gives itself revenue targets officially and unofficially. The official revenue targets are declared publicly, but unofficial revenue targets are for their personal purses.
The latter, they flaunt in different ways that manifest, and portray the noble, professional paramilitary organization as most corrupt in Nigeria and beyond.
It noted that other agencies and parastatals of government in the ports like Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) etc, operate outside their mandates as stipulated in the various Acts establishing them, adding “Infact, it has been a whole lot of confusion in the ports and their environment. This ensuing confusion over the years has been capitalized on, to rip off port users. Consequently, this makes Nigerian ports most expensive and unfriendly in sub Saharan Africa.”
The Freight Forwarding group stated this while supporting the recently launched Standards Operating Procedure (SOP) at ports. “Standardisation is the panacea to the on-going confusion in the ports. Example is the ongoing confusion in SON where breaches of statutes are the order of the day. Standardisation expectedly shall engender sanity as experienced in other economies and at the same time eliminate corruption and its tendencies in port operation. It should be applied in every facet of port operation.
“The Shippers Council which is the economic regulator is expected to step up actions to sustain the laudable initiative. It is no longer news in Nigeria, that we are always excellent in churning out new ideas and even importing from across the borders. However, we are not excellent in implementation. The reasons among others being that we tend to politicize
everything including our precious lives.
“The complementary aspect of this project is the Port Support Service Portal (PSSP). In this portal, people, namely: stakeholders in the port, individuals, corporate organizations locally and internationally are expected to access and make inputs in the form of suggestions, complaints, and criticisms. It is domiciled at the Nigeria Shippers Council. Any user
has the opportunity to make an input of sort and track/monitor the way it is being handled by relevant authorities concerned.
However, it is observed that different portals are created by different agencies and parastatals. For example, the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) has their exclusive portal that is being used to implement guidelines on importing new goods tagged: Standards Organization of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP).It verifies the conformity of all imported new goods, enforces their standards except those items that appear in excluded product list. Another example is Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). They have their portal called, the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS). It is utilized for PAAR issuance, Cargo identification, interface with SON”, it said among others.
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