Aniebonam: Customs declaring trillions in revenue at expense of Nigerians


…Chides Comptroller General of Customs, Ali for not communicating

The founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam has said that the over one trillion Naira revenue declared by the management of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in its half year 2021 report was made amidst hardships and poverty suffered by Nigerians across the country as it did not reflect on their lives.

Aniebonam who disclosed this in a chat with newsmen in Lagos recently, however, posited that customs should be very happy with this high figure because it was their responsibility to collect revenue for the government even as he noted that those of them close to the Service as partners should celebrate them on this milestone.

“However, when you look at the poverty level in this country and the fact that people are suffering and complaining seriously, it is also sad that the source of the hardships and complaints is the same thing giving rise to customs revenue. Things aren’t working as they should and it is very unfortunate.

“As an ex-Customs official and an opinion leader in NAGAFF, I think it is difficult to openly criticize the customs when I can seek other avenues for engagement. The over taxation is uncalled-for and it is a result of human element barriers. Something is wrong with customs at the moment and that is over-valuation of imports. There are no criteria or standards for valuation. An officer could look at you and decide to slam whatever amount he deems fit, because he doesn’t like your face. If he puts it into the system and you complain, you’re asked to go to Abuja to resolve it. In the next three months you may still be struggling with the same issue.

“As I discuss issues like this, I feel pained because customs is my alma mater. The situation is further complicated by the Comptroller General of Customs because he isn’t communicating at all. If you’re leading people and you aren’t communicating, a time will come when people will be pushed to the wall and become suicidal because you blocked the channels of communication. When you are having problem and the person to solve it isn’t willing to listen to you, you may have to adopt a suicidal approach.

“As the Founder of NAGAFF, I’m a leader. The Presidents of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Hon. Tony Iju Nwabunike is also a leader, the President of Association of Registered Freight Forwarders Nigeria (AREFFN) is leader, the President of the National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) and other associations are all leaders. I have asked these leaders and they all can’t access the customs boss, Ali. It is unfortunate that we can’t communicate with the CG of Customs to acquaint him of the challenges in customs operations. I’m really surprised about this development”, he submitted.

While noting that things were not going too well in customs as it should, he pointed out that customs would have made more money than what it declared adding that “customs has the opportunity to make more money than what we are all jubilating over but the problem is that there is no uniform application of standards.”

He continued, “So, if there are no communication, you call from now till tomorrow, for where, those that will solve that problem, they will not pick calls. That means, one can conclude that they are encouraging them. I still ask and say one thing; the regime of customs today is Destination Inspection, which means customs examination. Customs examination means, register your Form M because it is compulsory for all import into Nigeria to go through Form M.

“You remember the mandate of the Inspector General of Customs is to reform, restructure and enhance revenue collection. So, I expect by now, they should have some level of standard of operation and now, I am telling you that you cannot even get. I ask some people, do you speak to CG, they said no, I called the President of ANLCA, do you get in touch with the CG, do you talk to him, he said no, I called AREFFN, no, because when we have this problem, we speak to you, then it informs your drive for policy formulation. And you know how strong NAGAFF is in terms of support for customs and look at the way I am talking now. You remember the CG was here and we pledged our support and we have been doing our best.”

Photo: Founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam.

Send your news, press releases/articles to Also, follow us on Twitter @ptreporters and on Facebook on or call the editor on 07030661526, 08053908817.




Leave A Reply