Four accredited associations under the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) and the Importers Association of Nigeria (IMAN) have condemned the involvement of serving Customs Officers in clearing business, a situation which the group claims can only mean doom for the maritime industry in the long run.
In his words: “Customs officers issue clearing licenses to themselves and they don’t want to come under the regulation of the freight forwarding body, that is why they jeopardize its effort.”
Speaking further, Dr. okereke used the opportunity to send a clarion call to the Federal Government and the new Controller General Customs (CGC), Rtd. Col. Hammeed Ali, to quickly look into the matter to prevent the cabal within the customs from undermining the president’s anti-corruption drive.
He said, “We call upon the new CGC because he’s a disciplinarian, to look into the matter and find out the officers who want to do business. They should resign and become agents or they should remain in the Customs and leave clearing alone.”
Okereke added that a lot of arms and ammunitions and other contraband that get through the borders into the country, posing health and security risks, could most likely belong to Customs officers.
In the same vein, the National Publicity Secretary of NAGAFF, Mr. Simeon Nwonu, reiterated that about 80 per cent of agents today are Customs officers whilst many genuine agents have lost their importers to these officers. Mr. Nwonu therefore insisted that the fight against corruption must be total.
“We must support the anti-corruption crusade because I don’t see how civil servants can be clearing agents. Our lives are not safe.