You are a meddlesome interloper, Nwosu replies Segun Musa over Tincan Customs revenue report comments


… Says Tincan Customs the most customer-friendly command

The Chairman, African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), Tincan Island chapter, Mr. Emeka Godfrey Nwosu has faulted the comments attributed to a former Chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Murtala Mohammed Airport chapter, Dr. Segun Musa where he allegedly accused the Tincan Island command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) of defrauding importers and freight forwarders to hit the revenue record it released to the press last week.

Recall that this medium quoted Dr. Segun Musa in one of its publications yesterday as saying, “Over 50 per cent of this money was collected fraudulently through coercive measures and the importers were left with no option than to pay those fraudulent additional fees or to abandon the shipment.”

Musa stressed that “It has always been a case of either you settle the customs officers or pay more than your genuine duty declaration.”

Reacting to the statement, Nwosu accused Musa of unnecessarily meddling into the affairs of a command whose workings he did not understand and which he did not contribute anything to its revenue profile.

While admitting that Dr. Musa had the right to express his opinion and to say what he said the way he saw it, he added that “the question should be what is his contribution and how has he participated in the making of the revenue profile of Tincan Island Customs command?”

He continued, “What is his personal experience or is he just speaking based on mere hearsay or from the feelers they gave to him?  I challenge Musa to come down to Tincan Island command to raise one case where he can stand boldly to say this thing was done abnormally or this procedure was fraudulent. If not for the side complains of the non-standard agents (let me use that phrase because we are now in the era of standard and non-standard procedures), it is obvious that the coming of Comptroller Kunle has now separated the seeds from the chaffs.

“Today, in Tincan, it is obvious, going by what the Controller told the press that falsification of documentation for clearance purpose is on the rise which has been the trend here in Tincan Island command. Before now, you will file in your SGD for processing, you will still be at the point where you filed in your SGD, somebody has taken delivery from the same vessel that berthed the same day, laden with the same cargo you are clearing. You will be at the point of trying to position your container for examination, somebody has taken delivery. What is the magic or do we have rocket science approach to clearing of cargo in the port? No! It is so obvious that people have so connived and decided to do illicit procedure in clearing of cargo by way of forgery, falsification and then get away with it with the collaboration of their cohorts.

“Now, this gentleman came and said no in an effort to block all revenue leakages, everybody crying foul. Each time you have a problem, he will tell you that his doors are open, even if he comes to you and say what is the problem? Some of them don’t even know what they are asking for. Before me in one of the days, the Controller was standing and was asking someone who claimed to be a freight forwarder what the problem was, what was the C-Number, what are you carrying? Do you know his response? My oga sent me, make I ask my Oga. Such are the people that will come and before you know it, they will tell you they are freight forwarders.

“The Controller is asking that he just wants to see 30 per cent compliance from you and that he will stand for your case before the customs headquarters to defend anything he is doing here. We have not even been able to do 20 per cent; there are lots of short cuts from all this illicit, non-standard freight forwarders. How long should we continue to do that? You will just sit in your comfort zone and begin to address the press on issues of revenue collection of which you never contributed a dime to.

“Well, he said he is an importer and freight forwarder, good enough, he should present an SGD of one consignment that bears his trademark or his license credited to him and then, let us see if that shipment suffered any extortion from the command if he did complied appropriately. There are facts you need to put on ground for argument. You can’t just drop such a claim that the process of meeting the revenue record was fraudulent and extortive. There are things he should say at his level that someone can listen to and draws a conclusion from it.

“By merely reading the headline of the story, I was attracted to read the story. And going further, he wasn’t talking anything, no reference, no example, no case referenced and he was just talking, at his level? We have gone pass that stage and I make bold to tell anybody that cares to listen that Tincan Island command is the most customer friendly command to work with. All you need to do is come out straight the way you are, don’t come here to believe that you can do balderdash and think that customs officers in Tincan don’t know what they are doing.

“For your information, this Controller came, the idea of officers coming to work when it pleases them ceased. On routine checks, Comptroller Kunle goes around, any officer that is not on his duty post; he replaces him or her with the available officer. So, everybody is on top of his game now and bear in mind now that even from the headquarters, should any officer release or deliver any cargo that has a fraction of short collection in duty, that officer bears the consequences.  Are you aware that if a releasing officer released a cargo that short pay N20,000, nobody will go for the agent, nobody will go for the importer, that officer who released that cargo, pays that money. In a system like this, you want to tell somebody that the revenue that he collected was as a result of fraudulent procedure?”

Photo: Mr. Emeka Godfrey Nwosu, Chairman, African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), Tincan Island Port chapter.

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