Executives of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), led by its National President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, on a working visit to the Command had met with the Customs management last week Thursday where he identified some challenges confronted by agents in the course of carrying out their legitimate duty of cargo clearance at the port.
Officers and the agents it was gathered had deliberated over whom to blame for the poor attitude of both parties to work at the command.
At the closed-door meeting, according to a source, agents had accused Customs personnel of allegedly reporting late to work, thereby placing the agents be at their mercy.
The source also informed SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that the agents accused Customs officers of alleged high-handedness and unfriendly attitude to agents.
“The agents called names of officers who are not accessible and do not come to work early. The agents said that they should be treated with dignity because they are key stakeholders for the successful operations of the Nigeria Customs Service,” according to the source.
The source noted that Customs officers present at the meeting, which was piloted by the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Zakari Jibril, had equally taken turns to blast the agents over their alleged lackadaisical attitude to work, especially during examination.
“The Customs officers said that agents do not resume to commence their clearing process until 11:30am or 12 noon, even when they (Customs officers) are on seat at 8.00am,” the source said.
It was learnt that, at the end of the meeting, which also had heads of each of the terminals under the Command in attendance, both parties resolved to work in harmony.
While the Customs officers on their part promised to be accessible as public officers, the agents vowed to turn new leaves by reporting early for examinations.