Aniebonam Applauds Adeniyi’s Choice As Customs CG

 Aniebonam Applauds Adeniyi’s Choice As Customs CG
Dr. Boniface Aniebonam

 Founder of National Association Of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam has applauded the choice of  Adewale Adeniyi, as the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS). 

He said the CGC took off from day one as someone who knew that there were things to be corrected in the system. 

Speaking with a select group of Maritime Journalists last week in his office, Dr. Aniebonam said the current CGC is an international Customs Officer with administrative experience. 

He said one of the first steps taken by the CGC was the disbandment of the CGC Strike Force which had become a liability.. 

“The CGC Strike Force  that has been disbanded is an ad-hoc arrangement to correct an ailment in the Service. It should not have lasted for more than between three to six months.”

He called on the new CGC to devolve operational powers to the Zonal Coordinators while maintaining core policy formulation, training, welfare and international relations at the Customs headquarters. 

He said it would be more convenient to resolve operational matters at the Zonal level than go to Abuja for resolution.

“The Zones are manned by ACGs who are eminently qualified to handle trade disputes at the Zonal level”, he noted. 

He maintained that in the event of inappropriate decisions taken at the Zonal level, the leader has residual powers to reverse any decision taken that is not appropriate. 

He said it was important for the Customs leadership to trust the ACGs while monitoring them for efficiency and performance. 

Dr. Aniebonam who is also the founder of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) lauded the new Customs law which allows Customs Officers to aspire to the highest office in the Service and applauded the National Assembly for that decision. 

On the encroachment of Policemen into the duties of Customs at the ports, Dr. Aniebonam said the Police have general powers to check goods in transit but that should not be their primary assignment which is a duty that is handled by the Customs. 

Recall that about two weeks ago, the AIG Zone 2, Ari Ali Mohammed, was at NAGAFF headquarters in Apapa on a working visit and cautioned the police over interference in cargo clearance along the ports corridor. 

On the recent unbanning of the 43 items on the import list, he said the former Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele acted in utter ignorance of the Customs law, adding that the new CBN governor has expressed his desire to concentrate on monetary policy rather than fiscal policy. 

Under Emefiele, there was total “system collapse” which led to increase in freight charges without due consultation with freight forwarders. 

Given the state of total chaos at the time, importers lost their cargo while some overpaid the penalty given to them., leading to frustration and business losses. 

Aniebonam stated that with the new trade regime, the system will flow seamlessly and compliance levels will increase. 

He called for the release of the seized goods since government had powers to grant amnesty to aid trade facilitation. 

The renowned freight forwarder disclosed that the Customs has its own lingo and only those versed in it are able to do business with the Service.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Thursday last week  confirmed the appointment of the Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, in line with extant rules of the Public Service. 

He was appointed in Acting capacity on the 19th of June, 2023.

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