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Customs redeploys 36 officers at Tin Can

By on January 14, 2014

Thirty-six officers of the Nigeria Customs Service at the Tin Can Island Port in Lagos have been re-deployed for alleged roles in delay in releasing cargoes.

A statement by the Customs command at the port on Monday said that the redeployment, which was ordered by its Area Comptroller, Mr Jubril Zakari, affected six assistant comptrollers.

The statement, signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Chris Osunkwo, said that 30 officers affected in the minor sanction were from the rank of assistant superintendent of customs serving at various cargo releasing terminals.

Osunkwo said that the officers had been transferred to the Customs Processing Centre (CPC) in the command.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some clearing agents at the port had alleged that release of consignments were being unnecessarily delayed.

Although the Customs authorities in the command admitted that its officials delayed the release of some consignments, the statement said that some of the complaints by agents were unfounded.

According to Osunkwo, what the clearing agents called delay is due to efforts of officers in the CPC to confirm the payment made before clearing their goods.

“We do not want anybody to bring a false bank payment receipt and use it to clear consignment. We will ensure that they confirm the validity of the electronic Form ‘M’’.

“All the agents want is that immediately they drop their application, they will carry their goods, but things are not done like that,’’ he said.

He also denied report that the officers in the command were collecting money before processing applications.

Osunkwo appealed to leadership of various associations operating in the port to train and enlighten their members on the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) being handled by the Customs “to make the job easy”.

He also said that measures were being put in place to train and deploy more officers who would manage the increasing volume of applications for release of goods. (NAN)