Controller, Tin Can Island Port Command, Comptroller Yusuf Bashar has directed that all containers duly released from the terminals should no longer be subjected to cross examination at the point of exit.
The directive was issued by the officer in charge of the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) Tin Can Island command, Suleiman Bomoi on behalf of the Controller.
Clearing agents operating at the command had often complained of alleged delay of consignments at the exit gate arising from frequent re-examination of cargoes after it has been released by the releasing officer.
Speaking on the directive, Public Relations Officer of the command, Uche Ejesieme said the cross examination of goods was call off to facilitate trade and promote the ease of doing business in line with the federal government directive at the ports.
“In line with our efforts to align with the presidential directive on ease of doing business, the officer in charge of the CIU, Bomoi directed that all cargoes duly released from the terminals should no longer be subjected to cross examination at the point of exit.
“The Controller of the command, Comptroller Yusuf Bashar authorised the cancelation and this is to ensure that all areas of bureaucracy and cumbersomeness are removed. As Customs officials, we have the responsibility to ensure that we don’t just key into the mandate on ease of doing business but are seen to be driving it.
“It is expected that all officers at the terminals had done their examination with every amount of thoroughness, leaving no room for cross examination when the consignment gets to the gate.
Ejesieme added that the cancellation would also not deter officers from conducting thorough examination of cargoes before they are released.
“The emphasis for officers now is thoroughness. When you are sure that you have examined the consignment very well, once it comes out, you don’t have to send alert anymore.”
Chairman, International Freight Forwarders Association, (IFFA) Tin Can Island Port chapter, Ojo Akintoye, welcome the development saying it is a good step in the right direction.
He said that the issue of cross examination of goods at the gate had always pose challenges to trade facilitation while creating room for extortion by officers at the gate.