Licensed customs agents who hitherto have difficulties paying their duty owing to the inability of the commercial banks to attend to them can now do so as the federal government has directed all banks to operate at full capacity.
Recall that licensed customs agents had before now complained of inability of the commercial banks to address their needs as a result of the Presidential directive which required them to offer skeletal services to customers.
However, in a statement in Lagos yesterday, the National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Chief Iju Tony Nwabunike informed agents that they pay their duty starting from today or tomorrow without hitches.
In his words, “I am also pleased to inform you that the Federal Government has instructed all banks to operate at full capacity. You can now pay your duty starting from tomorrow or the day after, without hitches.”
Nwabunike further disclosed that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha had instructed that all customs brokers, freight forwarders and port users were exempted from the lockdown.
He added that “consequently, he has instructed all the security agencies operating in and out of the ports, particularly the Lagos State Police Commissioner, not to arrest or prevent any customs broker/freight forwarder going forward, as we are also designated as providing essential services.
“You are however required to ensure you always have your port pass and your company ID on you for proper identification. In the unlikely event that you are wrongly arrested by the police, please call me on 08030616133 for immediate intervention and release.”
While thanking the SGF, Mustapha and Barrister Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council for their professional and prompt handling of these challenges, he also thanked the Registrar, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Barr. Samuel Nwakohu and his council members for the sensitization visits to all Lagos ports yesterday.
“ANLCA is indeed very grateful to the FGN for their prompt response”, he said.
He however reminded them that COVID 19 was real saying “we must adhere to all directives from the authorities, including social distancing to stop the spread of the disease. I implore you to stay away from the ports if you don’t have any business at this time. Stay safe.”
Photo: Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha.
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