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Overtime cargoes at ports: Customs CG blamed

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COMPTROLLER General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Hameed Ali has come under a sledge hammer for allegedly sabotaging the economy following his  managements refusal to address the issue of overtime cargoes littering the various ports and terminals.

One of the aggrieved officers in the Federal Operations Unit Lagos, Tunde Keshiro had last year raised an alarm over the high number of overtime cargoes at the terminal, which he said is threatening available space in the port.

Keshiro had urged Customs to commence the auction of overtime cargoes, stating that over 1,000 uncleared vehicles littered the terminal.

“The space that is supposed to be given to new cargo is being locked up with all the associated cost of handling the overtime cargo at the terminal. It is on record that since 2015, Customs has not done any cargo auction in the port; be it container or vehicles. The last time they had auction in the port was August 2015 and since that time, we have not recorded any.

“They say they wanted to do e-auction but we are still waiting for it to be implemented for overtime cargo at the port. Electronic auction was done for seized cargoes at the border locations and at FOU (Federal Operations Unit) but when it comes to overtime cargoes at the port commands, we have not recorded any single auction since August 2015,” Keshiro had said.

Some customs operators told National Light that the non-auction of overtime goods at the port has become worrisome.

Go to the terminals, the vehicles are all rotting away because of the effects of rain and sun on them. This is economic sabotage. That is the problem that is why the system is down and there is poverty everywhere. It is a terrible situation,” an Assistant Comptroller of Customs at one of the port commands in” Lagos told National Light

Noting that the online auction of goods introduced by the present Customs management could not be sustained due to irregularities in the system, the officer said people have lost confidence in the system and are no longer bidding.

“The online auction has failed and that is why they are not saying anything about it again. Come to the terminal and see for yourself, the vehicles are all rotting away there,” he said.

 

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