By Frank Odinukaeze
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has accused freight agents of deliberately commiting error by putting the wrong code instead of capturing the right one with the intention to evade payment of correct duty.
The National Public Relations Officer(PRO) of NCS, Deputy Comptroller of Customs (DC) Timi Bomodi disclosed this last Friday in an interview with MMS Plus at the media parley with Customs Public Relations Officers at the Customs Training Center(CTC) Ikeja, Lagos.
Bomodi said there are some dubious people who instead of capturing the right VIN number,they will deliberately make error so that they will go to non standard VIN.
“And we told them from day one about the implication of such acts.But because they want manual intervention,they don’t want to use the system.And we told them that would not be allowed”.
DC Bomodi debunked the claims that the VIN Valuation is hindering trade facilitation.He said if the right procedure code is followed trade facilitation cannot be hindered.
He said that there are individuals who are bent on subverting every move at trade facilitation.”We have the issue of individuals that instead of declaring and paying what is there in the system,want to still go to what was happening in the past.It doesn’t help,”he said.
He noted that where there is issue is the non standard VIN.But for the standard VIN there are no issues at the moment.
The Customs Image maker said the report that 90 per cent of cars coming into the country are non standard,
“Are we saying that more vehicles coming into the country are non standard?That is not correct.It is some few people that are just messing around with the system.And instead of going through the automated process,they still want to go through the manual process,so that they could benefit one way or the other,”he said.
Meanwhile the NCS has called for closer collaboration and cooperation with the media for better understanding and informed reportage.
In his opening remarks at the event which had in attendance presidents of the Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN), Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN), Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria(AMJON), League of Maritime Editors and others, Comptroller Bomodi noted that the purpose of the media parley is to enhance shared experience and to map the way forward.
“This media parley provides opportunity for us to come together to find the best possible ways to mutually carry out our professional duties , without compromise”he said.
He said there is need to establish a symbiotic relationship between the media and the NCS, stressing the need for mutual respect for each other.He urged Journalists to interact more with the commands PROs than other officers.
He asked Journalists to always maintain objective neutrality on issues.
“Let’s not take sides on any issue.Let us rely on truth.Our opinions must be more facts based than emotions’,he said.
Speaking at the occasion, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Adeleye Ajayi,said there should be a close rapport between the customs and maritime Journalists.
“We should cross check our facts before publishing . let’s be friendly.Whatever that is not clear to us we should find out”he said.
Also speaking ,the president of MAJAN ,Mr Ray Ugochukwu noted that Journalists are not happy.He called for better relationship between the NCS and Journalists.”The relationship between Journalists and Customs is not as it used to be in the past”he said.stressing there’s need for improvement.
In his own contribution the president of AMJON,Mr.Paul Ogbokiri called for closer relationship between the customs and the media.
On the issue of proliferation of associations in the industry, Bomodi noted that in the time past it was easy to manage the situation but today there are so many associations and that puts a strain in their dealings with the maritime Journalists