80% of intercepted goods cleared by Customs – Forwarders

Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics in Nigeria has condemned the recent invasion of some warehouses and markets in South West Nigeria by the Strike Force of the Nigeria Customs Service.

It claimed that 80 per cent of the goods intercepted were duly cleared and released by Customs officers.

In a statement on Monday, the National President of APFFLON, Frank Ogunojemite, described the raid by Customs as an indictment on their part, adding that the revenue collectors had been playing the ostrich.

He accused the service of complicity, stressing that no container could be smuggled into Nigeria without the support of Customs officers.

This is coming on the heels of the revelation, at the weekend by the Comptroller-General of NCS, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd.), that over 400,000 vehicles were smuggled into the country yearly.

Although the Coordinator of the CG Strike Force stated that based on the proactive measures by the unit, smugglers found it difficult to move smuggled foreign rice from the borders in large quantity.

Ogunojemite condemned the action, saying that Customs clandestinely collect money from importers to release contraband goods after which they move into their warehouses to cart them away, describing the action as treacherous.

His words, “The height of corruption we witness in every sector of the economy is amazing. How would Customs exonerate themselves in all these? The foreign rice and contraband goods that flood our markets come in either through the land borders or the seaports; none passes underground.

“If Customs, due to greed, compromise professionalism and allow most of them to find their ways into our markets, and come back to paint pictures of patriotism and diligence, l think that’s a high level of hypocrisy.”

The association called on Ali to review the ethical standards and the level of patriotism of personnel at cargo entry points to avoid continued embarrassment to the country and disgrace to his leadership.

Anozie Egole
Anozie Egole
Anozie Egole is a Transport correspondent. He reports Maritime, Aviation and Rail/Road Transport for Financial Street.

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