By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The Nigeria Customs Service has bemoaned what it terms unnecessary rivalry among security agencies and bad roads especially in the port areas.
It noted that the dilapidated roads in the port areas are imposing a hidden tax on port users by increasing the cost of cargoes delivery.
The national public relations officer of the Agency, DC Joseph Attah made the remarks at workshop organised by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) in Lagos.
Speaking on behalf of Attah at the event, the public relations officer Tin Can Island Command Uche Ejesieme, a Superintendent of Customs said that the problem of bad roads linking the ports’ environment has become an embarrassing stigma.
” I abandoned my official car in a serious traffic and climb Okada just to meet up this important engagement”, he disclosed.
Ejesieme pointed out that ,in the Maritime industry today especially at the ports in Apapa, normal interaction has been frustrated by bad roads.
Reacting to a question, Ejesieme said the challenge in the discharge of duty at the ports is an unnecessary rivalry among the security agencies.
He explained that there are agencies approved to operate in the ports according to the trade value chain and the Standard Operation Procedure.
According to him, it is very wrong for any agency to accept glory for any interception without recourse to the Customs.
His words, ” The challenge we keep having is an unnecessary rivalry among the security agencies. Before escalating of seizure, you have to get across to the appropriate agency in accordance with the SOP, rather than make mischief.
It is very wrong for anybody to accept anything without recourse to the Customs. We have a responsibility that we must respect the right of every other agencies. We should know that we are working for the same government”.
On the theme of the workshop, the Tin Can Command image maker said the role of the Customs in the Blue Economic Project would have to do with its initiative towards improving customs operational procedures.
According to him,” Our role in the blue Economy will have to do with our initiative towards improving customs processes and procedures, e.g, you will recall that our automation process began with ASYCUDA,then transited to ASYCUDA++,then we had ASYCUDA 2.7 version,then NCIS 1 and now NCIS 2.
He further explained that some deliberate steps created by the service in dealing with trade related disputes include, creation of the dispute resolution committee at the headquarters and at area commands.
According to him, the committees are charged with the responsibilities of identifying trade dispute and addressing them expeditiously with minimal delays.
The customs image maker noted that,” there is a renewed synergy and collaboration between customs team and other sister’s agencies at the seaports, Airport and the land borders.
Attah said ,it becomes imperative for customs, sister security agencies and other stakeholders to work for its success through improve collaboration.