The Nigeria Customs Service has denounced reports that certain imported containers were allegedly excepted from examination at the Apapa Ports Complex on the orders of the Comptroller general of Customs Abdullahi Dikko Inde, saying there was nothing like that.
An online publication had penultimate week alleged in its findings that certain category of containers were allegedly being sidelined in the mandatory Customs examination at premier sea Ports on the orders of the Customs with a view to protect the business interests of certain private concerns.
Customs Area Controller, Apapa Ports, Comptroller Charles Eporwei Edike who described the report as malicious and misleading said there has never been such a directive from the headquarters or anywhere since he assumed headship of the command, saying such order would have amounted to an illegality.
According to the Area Controller, the container under reference in the publication, does not match the Bill of lading of any of the 473 containers aboard MAERSK Calabar/CMA-CGM vessel with voyage number 8M120E which berthed at the APM Terminal Apapa on Friday May 15, 2015.
“The Containers quoted by the publication with Bill Laden Nos. DEMO121817, DEMO121765, DRUN004554, DPPC101939 and QDGY004478 never arrived APM Terminal Apapa port on board MAERSK Calabar/CMA-CGM vessel as buttressed by the ship manifest”, Controller Edike explained.
He further noted that the second vessel, MV Grande Cotonou also mentioned in the report never berthed in Apapa.
According to the Customs Chief, no cargo is treated as a sacred cow, saying that in compliance with the laid down procedure for clearing containers/ imports, every container import is subjected to 100% Physical Examination and Scanning as triggered by the ASYCUDA Risk mechanism.
He dismissed contrary misleading claims as “a deliberate attempt sponsored by some persons to sabotage the good and innovative transformations being witnessed by the Service under the present leadership.”
Controller Edike also reiterated the commitment of Nigeria Customs Service and its Apapa Command to strictly adhering to all Federal Government directives on imports and contrabands, saying no amount of falsehood would deter the official procedure from being implemented.