The Deputy National President, Headquarters of the National association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Chief Increase Uche has slammed the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) over its issuance of password to licensed companies rather than to individual for the purpose of operating Direct Trade Input (DTI) describing the move as throwing up another business challenge in the nation’s maritime industry.
Uche who made this observation in a chat with Primetime Reporters in Lagos stated that since the commencement of issuance of password to those licensed companies, a number of customs licenses had been blacklisted following one infringement or the other.
He further pointed out that the withdrawal of password from the commercial DTI operators at that stage created a serious problem in the clearing sector that people had to pay huge amount in demurrage thus strangulating businesses at that time.
He said,” The issue of withdrawing their password from the DTI operators at that stage created a serious problem in the clearing sector that people have to pay demurrages, in fact, business was strangulated. The people managed and paid demurrages to remain in business until the last thing they brought in by insisting on giving password to companies instead of individuals which we have been preaching before now that they should go into professionalism, professionalizing the customs formalities which is not heeded to. It is a serious problem.
“Now, with the issuance of this password to companies, we are between 10 and 20 steps backwards from where we were before now about 2 or 3 months ago because if you look at the whole scenario, the so-called password given to companies has actually compounded issues. Go and find out the number of licenses that has been blacklisted for one infringement or the other”.
The NAGAFF chieftain argued that until customs understood the point they were canvassing for, it would continue to make mistakes in trying to facilitate trade adding that individuals not companies should be assigned password for the purpose of trade.
“If you want to have a brokerage company, the point man that handles everything that had to do with customs formalities must be a trained person certified and licensed by customs. These are basic requirements that you must have to undergo. You must have a requisite knowledge of customs classification, tariff and all that before you will be licensed by customs and given password. It is an individual that is given password not a company.
“Giving password to a company is as if you are giving that password to the general public. Look at how they handled their own, customs will always give password to officers of certain status and he must not be an officer below the Assistant Controller rank and it must go to an individual in the command not to a command generally. There must be an identified individual that will handle a particular password. So, that alone is creating a serious confusion in the entire customs license administration which we need to correct”, he said.
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