The Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Inde Dikko has said it is very possible for Customs to meet its target of N1 trillion for 2012 despite several odds.
These odds, he said include the fraudulent tendencies of agents and importers to under declare their consignments and boycott of Nigerian ports to neighbouring ports by importers.
Declaring the Service’s unwavering commitment towards achieving the all-time high Customs target, Dikko, who spoke at the 2012 Annual General Meeting/National Executive Council Meeting of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) yesterday in Lagos, said what was needed from the agents in assisting Customs to hit the target was full declaration of their consignments.
“Declare what you have properly and pay the correct duty. The bottom line is that the target is achievable. We want you to partner with the Customs,” said Dikko, who was represented by ACG Gbemudu, in charge of Zone A.
While confirming that Customs had finally dropped the import benchmark policy, the Customs boss directed officers to begin working on Saturdays and enjoined agents to clear goods on Saturdays.
“We are not treating the issue of benchmark anymore. We are going to work on Saturday; it is no longer the issue of Monday to Friday, come on Saturday and pay your duty and get your cargo cleared,” he directed.
Reacting to allegations that the Service was focusing on revenue for government rather than facilitation of trade, Dikko said they were wrong as all that Customs officers do every day is about trade facilitation.
He also seized the opportunity to call on stakeholders who might have issues to raise on the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA), which is currently being reviewed by the National Assembly to do so before its passage into law.