By Innocent Orok
The Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has called on Importers, Freight forwarders and Agents doing business within the command to be compliant with trade regulations as the command will not process non compliant trade no matter the pressure.
The Controller of the Command, Comptroller Mohammed Abba-Kura said this when the executives of the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON) paid him a courtesy visit at the Command headquarters at the premier port of Apapa Lagos yesterday.
Comptroller Abba-Kura maintained that failure to comply with the required trade regulations in the process of clearance will not be condoned even as he stated that the traders are expected to have requisite knowledge of all necessary documentations and clearance before venturing into importation.
“I will encourage facilitation of legitimate trade. Legitimate trade where all means of regulations and certifications are duly complied with.
“We have seen some Nigerians along the line who would always want to have their ways even when they have not done the right thing.
“If someone is coming to say he has a consignment that has not been cleared on time, we won’t attend to it if it is non compliant. As the documents come, I pass them to those who would work on them. We avoid delays of any kind .
“Don’t leave what you can do today for tomorrow because by doing that, you are delaying some people.
“But if there are issues that need to be cleared, they must be cleared no matter what the owner may say. For example, if there is a documentation or clearance you need to get, if you don’t have it, you must get it for us to attend to it
“Before you venture into anything, you must inquire what it requires. You cannot start a process and come to us and be on our neck that we must do it for you, that one will never be done.
“If they want to call it delays because of this, we have no apologies.
Speaking further, Comptroller Abba-Kura added that customs officers who distinguish themselves in performance on their jobs would be adequately rewarded.
According to him, outstanding performances would be commended and such commendation can be escalated to Headquarters of the Service for appropriate reward even as he said that erring officers would be adequately punished.
His words, “I will encourage my officers that perform in the course of doing their jobs by giving commendation letters but on the contrary, whoever that errs, I will not hesitate to punish.
“Outstanding performance will be rewarded not only in the command, we will escalate it to the Headquarters. This will enable others get motivated, ” he maintained.