The Public Hearing on allegation of corruption against DC Saidu Aliu of the Nigeria Customs Service and any other Customs officers earlier scheduled for Wednesday December 16, 2015 at the Freight Forwarders Village was put off due to a supervening occurrence as represented by the
intervention of superior authorities of the Nigeria Customs Service and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF).
According to the National Chairman, Anti Corruption Committee of NAGAFF, Hon. Increase Uche who addressed journalists and freight forwarders who came with evidences, the NAGAFF High Command decided to hold its anger because of the intervention of higher authorities of the NCS and founder of NAGAFF who had promised to look into the complaints of freight forwarders with regards to alleged unwholesome conduct of some Customs officers as the issues according to him were still mere allegations.
Hon. Increase Uche revealed that a meeting involving a delegation of the High Command of NAGAFF, led by its Founder Dr. Boniface Aniebonam and some members of the NCS management at the Command took a critical look at the complaints of freight forwarders and requested all parties to allow internal mechanism put in place to resolve the issues amicably.
The NAGAFF Chieftain said the decision of the Association to embrace the peaceful resolution of the crisis was based on the association’s philosophy of dialogue, consultation and responsible partnership in matters concerning their members and agencies of Government and because of the enduring cordial relationship that existed between the Nigeria Customs Service and the management of NAGAFF.
“This was reinforced earlier as the authorities of the Nigeria Customs Service and the management of NAGAFF held a pre-public hearing meeting with the CAC of the Nigeria Customs Service at TCIP Command where the contentious gray areas of seeming disagreement were discussed.
“The Nigeria Customs Service management under the leadership of the TCIP CAC agreed that these areas will be immediately looked into and a wider and holistic stakeholders’ meeting will be held as soon as possible where everyone concerned will be briefed on steps he the CAC has taken to make amends in the areas of concern to all manner of people who come to do business at the TCIP Command.
“The CAC promised that all malpractices inherent in operations at the Command will be addressed and effect necessary changes that will facilitate trade devoid of corrupt practices”, he said.
Hon. Uche said NAGAFF understood the plight of the CAC in the past administration and would encourage him to take absolute control of the Command because the new CGC has directed accordingly to all CACs..
In his comment, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam said NAGAFF was appreciative of the cordial relationship that existed between it and the management of the NCS both at the National Headquarters and Command.
He said this relationship, built over a long period of time, was predicated on mutual understanding and respect.
Dr. Aniebonam submitted that NAGAFF would not do anything to threaten that relationship while sparing no effort to ensure that the NCS and its officers continue to uphold the tenets of the Service and best practices.
He said the primary objective of NAGAFF was to ensure the success of the restructuring, reforming, and enhanced revenue collection of the new Comptroller-General of Customs, Rtd. Col. Hameed Ali, as a way of supporting the change agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The NAGAFF Founder said that the public hearing was not intended to witch-hunt anybody, but “our own way of enhancing the change agenda” of Mr. President.
He expressed the hope that the NCS Tincan Island ports leadership would look into the allegations raised by the freight forwarders properly to ensure that justice was done to all concerned.
Freight forwarders present at the gathering expressed confidence in the ability of the Founder and the hierarchy of NAGAFF to ensure justice for the members.
For his part the President of NAGAFF, Dr. Eugene Nweke, emphasized that those who think the ongoing revolution against corruption was a joke should think twice.
According to him, the doubting Thomases may wish to visit Jibiya Border to see that the cartel which had been holding sway in that area had been broken.
“We must all join hands to support this present leadership of the Nigeria Customs Service to right the wrongs in our ports including the review of Customs licensing regulations which has discouraged professionalism in Customs questions and operations.
“Meanwhile, the CAC of TCIP Alhaji Jibrin Zakari has today warmed himself into our heart and deserves honour and respect as a conflict resolution expert of repute. We appreciate him and pray that God will continue to bless him”, Nweke stated.
It will be recalled that the Unit had earlier sent out a public notice notifying members of NAGAFF and indeed all freight forwarders operating in the nation’s ports who have evidence of under belly dealings of DC Saidu Aliu to come up with such evidence to enable it undertake its assignment diligently.
The Public notice which was signed by the National Chairman of the Unit, Fwdr. Increase Uche said,” The public hearing is to expose the under belly deals if any surrounding rerouting of risk channels, bench marking of imports, stoppage of released containers at the exit gates, alerting of jobs with intent to extort and blocking of passwords and agencies licenses unduly. Time is 10am, Date is 16th December 2015, and venue is NAGAFF Village.
Send your news, press releases/articles to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow us on Twitter @reportersinfo and on Facebook at facebook.com/primetimereporters or call the editor on 07030661526.