Customs intensifies campaign against trade malpractices, smuggling
As part of efforts to attain the Federal Government’s ease of doing business initiative, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday renewed its campaign against trade malpractices and smuggling in the country.
The service, through its Public Relations Unit has released series of posters and flyers urging importers and agents to make correct declaration of their imports and exports.
It urged members of the business community, particularly importers and their agents to avoid importation of prohibited items as it harped on the need to pay appropriate customs duty at all times.
It had also released a video to sensitise members of the public on the auction regime after recent approval by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.) of electronic auction of seized goods.
Besides the posters at strategic customs formations, its recent drive was seen in the social media where it hoped to bring information about its activities closer to the people in an easy to understand and cheaper to access format.
As a way of bringing its officers in sync with recent directives by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on the need to facilitate legitimate businesses in the country, the recent move by the customs was seen as a wake up call to officers and stakeholders to always ensure compliance with policies.
Public Relations Officer of the service, Joseph Attah, said the customs management was keen on being transparent in its dealings with stakeholders.
Attah, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs added that where there is improved compliance among importers and agents, cargo clearance at the seaports, airports and border stations would be faster.
“Our campaigns are targeted at a broad audience base because the more we dominate the various conventional and new media outlets with the adequate information, the more difficult it becomes for unsuspecting members of the public to fall into the hand of miscreants and scammers.
“‘We had come out with a video that was shown on major television stations including Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on our weekly Customs Duty Programme.
“This is one sure way of fighting ignorance, which we all know is not an excuse for anyone caught on the wrong side of the law,” he explained.
He added that Ali was committed to transparency and lawful ways of transacting government business and integrity in relationship with other government agencies and private sector stakeholders.
Meanwhile, the customs recently reaffirmed its resolve to begin the auctioning of seized goods from July 1, 2017 when its auction online portal would be accessible to members of the public.
Attah noted that the auction process would give everyone equal opportunity as only the highest bidders would win in the bids as the process seeks to reduce human contacts to the barest minimum.