Importers fume as Customs plan to seize smugglers’ containers at ports

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Importers and agents using the nation’s ports have threatened to down tools in the ports in protest against the order of the Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col Hameed Ali (retd), to seize containers suspected to be smuggling products into the country.

The circular dated April 25 reads in part, “It has been observed that 100 per cent examinations of cargo at the ports are not done properly by the officers assigned to do so.

“Consequently, the following instructions must be carried out with immediate effect and Area Controllers will personally be held responsible for non-compliance.

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“Henceforth, every Area Controller must respond accordingly to Strike Force intervention alerts.

“The Strike Force team has been authorised henceforth to intervene right in the ports. Non- compliance to this circular will attract severe sanctions.”

It was learnt that the presence of the Strike Force also threatened the functions of resident officers at the ports, while agents and importers were scared of the new Customs cargoes examination order.

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