By Babajide Okeowo
Stakeholders in the maritime industry were Tuesday locked out from a meeting with the Acting Comptroller Of Customs DCG Adewale Bahir Adeniyi by the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service headed by Comptroller Auwal Mohammed.
The stakeholders numbering about 30 were locked out of the meeting they were invited to to engage the new Customs CG on issues bordering on trade facilitation and other issues affecting their operations.
One of the aggrieved stakeholders who spoke to MMS Plus disclosed that they are surprised to find out they were locked out of the meeting they were invited to.
“This is the issue with the industry, when one is invited to a meeting to rub minds with those that make policies and one is not allowed access to the venue of the meeting then it speaks of the charade that trails the supposed meeting in the first place.
This is the same issue with the past administration when there was no engagement with stakeholders” he lamented.
This has been the norm with the Apapa Command of the NCS under Auwal as stakeholders who were at the Command to transact business a few weeks ago were locked out of the Command on the excuse that the Assistant Comptroller General Festus Okun, Coordinator, Customs Zonal Headquarters, Zone A was visiting the Command thereby grinding activities to a halt.
MMS Plus also gathered that the stakeholders who were fortunate to make it to the venue of the meeting were unable to parley with the CG as the meeting ended about an hour into the event on the excuse that the CG still has other meetings to attend.
The CG only took questions from the Acting President OF ANLCA, Dr Kayode Farinto before the meeting was declared closed leaving the stakeholders present at the event frustrated.
In a rather surprising leadership failure, Auwal failed to take the initiative and address the issue when it was raised by members of the press that witnessed the ugly situation.
The CAC through his Personal Assistant refused to address the issue while disclosing that all inquiries should be directed to the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Abubakar Usman who is away observing the Hajj.