The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Murtala Mohammed Airport Command, Comptroller Jayne Shoboiki has flayed the calls in some quarters for her removal from office.
The calls were sequel to the introduction of Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System II (NICIS II) in the command by the management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Already, some stakeholders who are opposed to the introduction of the NICIS II have been locked in horns with the NCS over the modalities for the implementation of the scheme.
The command in a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Ephraim Joseph Haruna said its attention has been drawn to a call for the CAC removal by some members of National Association of Government Approve Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) led by its Vice President in charge of Air Logistics, Western Zone, Segun Musa.
According to the statement which was made available to Maritime Bits, NAGAFF calls for the removal of Shoboiki was hinged on the MMA Command position on Form ‘M’ which is a mandatory document for importation.
They argued that it was wrong and does not meet the clearance process as smooth and rewarding as it used to be to them in the past.
They also claimed that the Customs Area Controller prefers to deal with members of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) than that of NAGAFF, and also that they were not briefed before the introduction of Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System II (NICIS II) in the command.
Explaining the rationale for its position, the command said: “For the avoidance of doubt, Form ‘M’ as a prerequisite for importation into Nigeria is not a policy of the command but a guideline of the Federal Government of Nigeria. The guidelines say, any person intending to import physical goods into Nigeria shall in the first instance process the e-Form M through any authorized dealer bank irrespective of the value and whether or not payment is involved. Moreover, the recently implemented NICIS II makes provision of Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) a must, and PAAR cannot be gotten without Form M”.
On the issue of whether the protesters were sensitized before the launching of NICIS II at the command, it said it was on record that NCS officers and men, clearing agents and other stakeholders including members of NAGAFF were part of the two weeks training at the Zonal Headquarters Yaba and Apapa Area Command.
“To therefore say they were not sensitized will be simply a denial of facts that are on records”, it maintained.
Quoting Shoboiki, the command PRO said: “The CAC wants to inform stakeholders that she attends to all Customs brokers equally without the fear of favour whether NAGAFF or ANLCA and will not be dragged into politics of superiority among different agencies. The command will always be focused on suppression of smuggling, collection of appropriate Customs duties while still facilitating trade”.
He expressed the readiness of the CAC to meet with to meet with any individual or group that will add value to the function of the NCS at the airport.
He enjoined all stakeholders to study properly the requirements of importation under the new dispensation, comply and compliment the ongoing efforts of the NCS to enhance the economy and national security.