The National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) has called on the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Apapa Area Command of the Nigerian Customs Services (NCS), Comptroller Charles Edike to identify and flush out of the command those officers who had been redeployed to other commands but refused to go to their new posts.
Chairman, NCMDLCA Apapa Chapter, Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim who made this appeal at a stakeholder’s meeting held at Apapa Lagos recently also wants the retired officers of the service who are still working at the command to be identified and brought to book.
Ibrahim wondered what would make an officer who had been posted out of Apapa command to stay back in the command and be causing problems and confusion in the system calling on the CAC to take some proactive measure towards sanitizing the command with a view to ascertaining who the staff of the command are.
He said,” we have a problem in Apapa, we have not been experiencing this issue before now but we have started having this issue. Some officers that have retired, they are here working, some officers that are not Apapa officers, maybe they have been posted to Maiduguri or wherever, they are here working. We don’t understand, if the Area Controller is not aware, we are now telling him”.
The NCMDLCA boss also hinted that once an agent have issue with Valuation unit, such a person hardly come out of the unit without how brilliantly he presented his case describing it unhealthy for their business.
Also speaking, a representative of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mrs. Julie Ogboru wondered what officers on mufti would be doing inside the terminal calling on the Area Controller to clarify the matter.
Responding, the CAC, Comptroller Edike advised the stakeholders to call his attention whenever they felt that they were being maltreated unjustly by the Valuation officers once their cases were genuine.
According to him,” but if you also enter there and your hands are dirty, if you come to me, I will tell her to give you penalty. If you know you are correct, don’t keep quite”.
On the retired and redeployed officers working at the command, Edike recalled that in November 2014 that the command took stock of officers posted to the command before placing their names on the nominal roll they sent to the customs headquarters.
“And so, CIU, you help us here now, you will help in the observation that he raised, those officers that are retired, they are here. Those officers that have been posted out of this place, they are still here. You will work with DC Admin and also with various O/C terminals. Please if you see them again, report to us discretely so that they won’t know you are the one who reported to us”, he said.
On officers who enter the terminals on mufti, the customs boss disclosed that it was only the Customs Intelligence Unit officers that were allowed to appear on mufti noting that any other officer who appeared on mufti except those on permission would be severely punished.
He continued,” let me now instruct the O/C CIU, the O/C CIU will liaise with DC Admin, DC Enforcement and with various terminal heads so that you will identify them, arrest them”.
“You are also not aware that late last year, some junior officers that are bad were rounded up, locked up in the cell and then sent back to Abuja. Please if you can identify them, let us know. I am not Holy Spirit, except you tell me, that is when I will know and I know that those ones are the ones giving us problem, those that don’t have any stake here”.
“Let us see them, we will arrest them, put them in our cell and then take them to Abuja”.