The Nigeria Customs Service has thrown its weight behind the 100% Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders NAGAFF in its 10-point agenda, which includes ensuring that members and other stakeholders comply fully to trade regulations, which would also enhance revenue generation.

The Team had visited the Onne Seaport and Area 1 Commands of Customs, River State in its bid to sensitise, solicit support and synergise with the relevant government agencies and other stakeholders in the maritime industry.

Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller A.B Mohammed who played host to the team, led by Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, expressed profound joy with the visit of the team and content of its 10-point agenda, especially articles 1-5 of the agenda which preach conforming to the mantra of strict adherence to clearance procedure at the ports.

”Since my assumption of office here as Area Controller, we have tried to maintain and improve on the structure of clearing procedures  here at Onne Port and from what I can see,  articles 1-5 of your 10-point agenda are as if we have met before and came up with this “.

The Comptroller,  who described NAGAFF members as refined, reformed, educated, enlightened and the first association in the maritime sector to agitate for the autonomy of  Customs Service, pledged the support of his command to the realisation of the 10-point agenda of the 100% Compliance Team.

He pointed out that true and honest declaration of imports remains the command’s watchword and called on Freight Forwarders to advice their importers to disclose to them the actual content in the container to avoid delay and seizure.

On the article seven of the 10-point agenda which is to protect the interest of Freight Forwarders in disputes, he urged the team that when it protects members’ interest; it must be in line with the legitimate procedure.

“Once the freight forwarder has done the right thing and then we are delaying him or giving him an unnecessary Debit Note DN, you can protect him, but whereas maybe by virtue of his cargo,  the DN is high and you come to say no, this is too high, you have to lower the DN, that protection will not be accommodated. But once it is within the limit of the extant laws, we will do our best”. 

”One thing with NAGAFF, I came to know since I started relating with NAGAFF as far back as eight years ago, when I was a young officer, NAGAFF remains the first set of the association to agitate for Customs autonomy. Wherever you meet a member of NAGAFF, you see him reformed and refined.  He will argue with you tactically. They are well enlightened and when we work with those that make the job very easy for us, I think if other associations will emulate NAGAFF members, we will together move the industry forward in clearing procedure”, he also said

The Onne Port Customs Area Controller however assured the NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team of the command’s maximum support while appealing to the executives not to approach him for cancellation of DN without strong reasons.

Speaking earlier, the National Coordinator of NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko said the team was not only established to assist Nigeria Customs Service to achieve its revenue generation, but to educate freight forwarders on the need to play by the rules and to impress on importers to make honest declarations, ensure 100% examinations of cargo as well 

According to him, ” Every seizure made by Customs in the port is attributed to the wrongdoing of the Freight Forwarders resulting to the attendant loss of revenue.

”WE have decided to address the issue, to see how we can make amends to ensure that infractions being recorded against our name are reduced to the barest minimum as we cannot totally eliminate crime, ‘Tanko opined.

At the Area 1 Customs Command, the 100% Compliance Team informed the Area Comptroller,  Yusuf Garuba of the Team’s total commitment towards ensuring that freighters and importers played by the rules in order plug all revenue leakages.