Good morning gentlemen/women of the media.
We are all aware of the incessant problems between customs officers and commuters on Nigerian highways.
Without prejudice to the provisions of the Customs and Excise Management Act(CEMA), I am hereby, in my personal capacity as a stakeholder, advising the management of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to reconsider its highways patrol policy.
The Nigeria Customs Service highways patrols are known to have often times resulted in problems between the patrol personnel and commuters, which I am sure, is not the intention of the patrol policy.
Insisting on following the provisions of the law in everything and all times would some times create problems, as everything should not necessarily be hinged on legality.
Furthermore, the Nigeria Customs Service should retrain and further equip its intelligence unit, known as Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU). If this is done, it would be the duty of the unit to gather and pass intelligence on smuggling activities to the enforcement unit for necessary actions, instead of the present system of sending patrols to the highways.
Finally, the management of Nigeria Customs Service should order its commands and zones to activate and sustain a viable system of interactions with stakeholders and the public before policies are formulated.
Chidi Anthony Opara, RFF, FIIM
(1.Registered Freight Forwarder. 2.Former National Officer, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents. 3.Present National Secretary, Association of Registered Freight Forwarders, Nigeria. (4) “Life Time Achievement” awardee, Maritime Watch Newspaper).