Ajuzie to FG: Lift Ban On Importation Through Land Borders To Stop Revenue Loss


…Seeks redeployment of officers spending above four years in commands

A former Chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Apapa chapter, Dr. Fred Ajuzie has urged the federal government to lift the ban on importation of some commodities through the land border stations across the nation in order to stop the government from losing revenue to smugglers who he claimed still smuggle those items into the country at no cost.

Ajuzie who made this appeal in an interview with Primetime Reporters in Lagos recently wondered why commercial activities were not going on at the land borders even as he insisted that the government was losing huge sums of money to the smugglers who he alleged connive with some corrupt customs officials to ply their illicit trade.

He said, “The government is losing  because the people are smuggling. Those things they would have declared and pay duty on, they are smuggling them. The borders are not opened by the road but they are opened at the backyard and officers know. The more the government closed the borders, the better for the customs officers.

“The borders should be opened so that activities should be open, let the government recruit more personnel to man borders because customs don’t have enough personnel. All the commodities they banned from coming through the borders still flood the Nigerian markets. Foreign rice, for instance iis banned but are you not seeing foreign rice in the market? Why not put it on a duty rate so that people will pay duty and go?

“Let the people pay duty and carry their goods and go. There is a customs policy that stipulates that when an item is a dutiable item, if you hold it, appraise the value for them to pay, together with a penalty, then allow the importer to go. They started it and later stopped.”

He therefore, called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to look beyond whatever he was being fed and fully reopen the land borders for activities to start booming in those areas once again noting that the development would not only impact on government’s revenue but also create employment for the locals thereby reducing crime and insecurity in the country.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fred Ajuzie has called on the Acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Mr. Bashir Adewale Adeniyi to take steps towards redeployment of officers who had spent more than four years in a particular command.

This he said would enhance productivity and the efficiency of officers. Ajuzie decried a situation where a particular customs officer will spend more than ten years in a particular command or location describing it as counterproductive to the service.

His words, “Some people have spent ten years in one location, some officers, since they joined customs in 2009 have not moved out from Lagos, either you see them in Apapa or you see them in Tincan or PTML and back to Apapa. That one alone, is it not corruption? And we are looking at it and laughing over it. It is a wrong thing and Adeniyi should not condone such corrupt acts.”

Photo: Dr. Fred Ajuzie, former Chairman, NAGAFF, Apapa chapter.

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