A leading freight forwarder, Mr. Godfrey Chukwuemeka Nwosu, has stated in Lagos that “the Nigeria Customs anti-smuggling war is a scam that has over years been bleeding the nation and innocent traders and their agents mercilessly, while enriching a circle of Customs personnel and their cohorts.”
Nwosu, who is the secretary of the Tin Can Island Port chapter, National Association of Government Approved Freight Fowarders (NAGAFF), alleged that the operatives of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) under the respective zones of the NCS, as well as those in the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Strike Force were merely out to harass and extort money from traders and their agents.
Describing the FOU and the CGC Strike Force as mere instruments of oppression and extortion, Nwosu compared both bodies to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
According to him, the NAGAFF Tin-Can chapter intends to spearhead similar campaigns, #EndFOU, #EndCGCStrikeForce, with the aim of instigating reforms to curb the high-handedness and exploitative tendencies of the operatives.
“We can’t continue to record avoidable deaths, all because splinter FOUs mount checkpoints and raid markets to intercept consignments and extort money from traders or their agents for goods that were duly cleared and released from the seaports, airports or land border stations,” he said.