The comptroller –General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali has said the major headache for customs in clearing container within 24 hours is the issue of false declaration of goods by importers and dishonesty.
He said it impossible to clear goods that were dishonestly declared by importers, adding that every goods or container, the owners must comply with the law of the country.
Ali who was escorted by top customs officers to the stakeholders forum on improved service delivery organized by Oil & Gas Free Trade Zone Authority (OGFZA) in Onne, Rivers State said any goods that does not come with value addition will not be allow into the country.
He said it wrong to declare that a container carrying bags of rice when it is clear that it is not only one goods that is the container.
Ali said: “Our major problem today in the issue of clearing container within 24 hours is false declaration, many people are not honest in dealing with the customs, how can someone bring in a container containing motor parts and rice but it was declared to be rice.
“Last time we caught some containers loaded with arms and ammunition, if we didn’t do a thorough job they could have entered into the country. Only God knows how many trucks of such have entered and about to enter, we must do our job to safe this country.”
The managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Oil & Gas Free Trade Zone Authority (OGFZA) in Onne, Umana Okon Umana thanked the customs service and stakeholders for their support to OGFZA in the implementation of the Federal government policy on the ease of doing business.
Umana said: “I want to personally thank the customs chief to be here today, before the economic recession the free zones had over 200 investors from 45 countries and generated more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.
“Between January 2010 and December 2015, Nigeria Customs Service generated total revenue of N143,244,299,171.00 from its oil and Gas Free Zone activities alone while Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) also generated a total sum of $2,142,910,723.00 and N19,321,486,866.00
“Behind the modest achievement is the laudable policy of specificity in the establishment of a sector –specific regulatory authority for all Oil and Gas Free Zones in Nigeria. I also would like to assure our clients that they can look forward to improved service delivery by all agencies of Government in the free zone”