The Area Controller, Apapa Command, Nigeria Customs Service, Abubakar Bashir, has disclosed that the command has stopped the practice of re-examining containers.
Bashir gave this indication during a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos on Thursday.
He said this was part of his administration’s effort to key into the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s agenda of creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive in Nigeria.
He assured stakeholders in the industry of 48-hour cargo clearance system once they were sincere with their declaration at the points of entry.
Bashir pledged his unrelenting commitment to addressing the challenges facing importers and stakeholders in the import sector.
“If you declare your goods with utmost sincerity and pay your duties, I assure you that your goods will be cleared in less than 48 hours. We want you to improve your sincerity of purpose. We are here 24/7 to identify areas where we can collaborate to make Nigeria a better place,” he stated.
Bashir noted that the meeting was convened to acquaint stakeholders with the Time Release Study, a scientific approach to measure the time a container arrives and leaves the port, which was carried out in conjunction with the World Customs Organisation.
According to him, Nigeria ranks low in terms of trade across the border, saying that the TRS would go a long way to take the country up the ladder.
Meanwhile, stakeholders have raised the alarm over the inputs of alerts charged by the NCS, adding that the sector was already plagued by myriads of challenges.
The Apapa Area Controller promised that under his watch, there would be transparency in all operations to ensure seamless conduct of business.
“We are ready to support you as long as you do the right thing; and if otherwise, we will intervene because we want to protect and safeguard the lives of Nigerians,” Bashir said.
In September 2017, the Controller, Tin Can Island Port Command, Comptroller Yusuf Bashar, issued a similar directive when stakeholders complained about delays caused by frequent re-examination of cargoes after they had been duly released by the Customs releasing officer.
Issuing the directive on his behalf, the officer in charge of the Customs Intelligence Unit, Tin Can Island, Suleiman Bomoi, had stated that all containers duly released from the terminals should no longer be subjected to cross examination at the points of exit.