The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in collaboration with the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) will soon commence training for the members of the association in order to keep them abreast of the latest information on ways of carrying out their activities as customs agents.
This was made known by the National president of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu in an expended National Executive Committee (NECOM) meeting held in Lagos, last week.
The training according to him becomes necessary as a result of numerous complaints by agents of being treated unfairly and losing money unnecessarily to Custom officials.
He further stated that the Nigeria Customs Service has contracted professionals from the United States to conduct the training, and that the equipment will come from the United States so that the trainees will get the best and the most recent information on how to run their activities at the port.
Prince Shittu added that it is an honour for the association as their new secretariat complex is chosen as one of the training centres, and is the only private firm to be designated for such, out of all the centres of the training.
He therefore enjoined all members to take advantage of the opportunity to be trained as there is no age boundary to the training.
Also speaking on the same issue is Mr Mukaila Azeez, a sector officer, who is also in charge of biometrics, he said that certificate will be issued at the end of the training and this will be uploaded to custom’s server and will help enhance the future of ANLCA and help checkmate fraudulent activities especially from non members who uses the association’s name to transact business.
The National President also used the medium of the meeting which has the zonal presidents and the sector officers in attendance to address the grievances and complaints of members. He set up a five- man committee to note all the complaints and experiences of members and promised that it will get to the appropriate quarters.
The grievances centre mainly on the mis-application of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) by some customs officials according to the agents.
The National Vice-President related an ugly experience he had in the hands of some custom officials concerning PAAR and concluded that as far as he was concerned, PAAR had no significance since after issuance, one still had to undergo terrible situations to get his goods finally cleared. According to him,” it is not supposed to be so since PAAR is supposedly the final document on value”.
Prince Taye Oyeniyi, a member of the association’s Board of Trustees said that the association supported the implementation of PAAR but it is unfortunate that it is being used against them. According to him, there is no difference between PAAR and Risk Assessment Report (RAR) that was in use before.
Mr Obi Chima, the Senior Special Adviser to the National President on Custom Matters, further reiterated the point and added that ANLCA is not only an association but can also act in the capacity of a pressure group, that it cannot always dance to the tune of Customs on everything but can also fight for whatever policy that is not favourable to the association.
By mms plus weekly ng