By Oluyinka Onigbinde
The Nigerian Customs Service of the Tin Island port has scrapped the Customs Investigation Unit (CIU) of the command as it would no longer detain any consignment dully released at any of its terminals, for an ‘alert’ and ‘cross examination’.
The Public Relations Officer of the Tin Can Command, Mr Uche Ejesieme who confirmed this, said the move was to “streamline operations” at the command, in line with the recent Presidential Order on Ease of Doing Business.
Ejesieme said the directives came with immediate effect, assuring all clearing agents and freight forwarders that a circular to this effect had been issued to all CIU officers at Tin Can Island Port, as well as terminal and unit heads for their information and necessary compliance.
“In line with the recent presidential directive pertaining to ease of doing business, the Customs Intelligent Unit, Tin Can Island Port, have streamlined its mode of operation, to the extent that any duly released cargo from the terminal will no longer attract CIU” Ejesieme stated.
Chairman, Tin Can Island Chapter of International Freight Forwarders Association (IFFA) Ojo Akintoye also confirmed that the executives had held a meeting with the team leader of the CIU and it was confirmed that Customs alerts had been streamlined at the command.
At the end of the meeting with the CIU team leader, said the IFFA have been directly informed that any consignment being released by DC Terminal would not be subjected to extra checks at the gate by
“Before now, the CIU would put an alert on a job and the same alert is placed by valuation, we are trying to see how we can consolidate the two of them.
“The CIU has agreed now that henceforth, and they have written OC gate that henceforth, any job released by the DC Terminal should not be stopped at the gate again. There is a letter towards that and it is dated 15th of August 2017”
“The team leader AC Bomai signed the letter. Henceforth, gate officers should not stop jobs for CIU alerts again” he said.
Ojo noted that the issue of alert on dully cargoes has always been a serious challenge in the past because it inhibits trade facilitation and that it grants the gate officers an avenue to extort its members.
Ojo said that the circular on disbandment of checkpoints by the Customs headquarters is not being implemented. He said that his association is ready to partner the federal government in this regard.
“Before you move from Tin Can to Mile 2, you would see not less than 3 checkpoints mounted by customs officers that have been asked to leave the road”
“Any job cleared at the command should not be stopped by young officers on the highway. Let them come to where the container is being cleared so that they can witness it”, he concluded, affirming that the bad roads have actually caused truck drivers to increase their fairs arbitrarily.