The Senate Committee on Customs and Excise has said that all cargo clearance hitherto stalled at the shipping companies due to its activities and correspondences will be allowed to be processed in line with the extant regulations.
The National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Chief Iju Tony Nwabunike disclosed this in a welcome address he delivered at the Annual General Meeting (AGM)/National Executive Council (NEC) meeting holding at Owerri, the Imo State capital on Wednesday.
Nwabunike stated that the leadership of the association recently engaged the ranking members of the Senate over alleged interference in cargo clearing by members of the National Assembly.
He informed that at the end of the closed door interactions, the association and the senate committee mutually agreed that it negates due process for lawmakers to be involved in cargo clearing.
According to ANLCA President, “Chairman of the committee, Senator Francis Alimikhena gave his words that all cargo clearance hitherto stalled with shipping companies due to the committee’s activities and correspondences will be allowed to be processed in line with extant regulations.
“Senator Francis Alimikhena concurred with us that whereas the oversight functions of the lawmakers cannot be wished away on the executive arm of government and any of its agents, the day to day operation of duty collection, cargo examination, issuance of demand notices (when necessary) and effecting seizures for duty infractions rest with the Nigeria Customs Service.
“It was further concluded as an incontrovertible fact that the functions of NCS officers as provided in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) cannot be performed by any person or body not authorized to act so.”
Nwabunike therefore called on all customs brokers to remain calm in the face of imminent review of government policies to accommodate their line of businesses and expand opportunities for their growth.
“They should expect lights at the end of the tunnel and be prepared to take full legitimate advantages that the adjusted regime will usher in.
“ANLCA will continue to pursue the interest of our members in the areas of operational challenges and other government policies that are not favourable to the interest of maritime industry at large”, he added.
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