The Chairman of the House Committee on Customs, Mr. Leke Abejide has stated that the National Assembly was working to repeal and amend some provisions in the Customs and Excise Management Act, to reduce bottlenecks in the agency.
Mr. Abejide stated this on Wednesday during an interactive session with The Nigerian Customs Service on the efforts of the agency to reduce its long cargo clearing stages.
The Chairman suggested that the executive arm of government has to do something about the borders, so they can be tight enough to reduce smuggling.
“Try to improve the checks on this. We too in government we need to encourage the executive. Someone asked me why our borders were the way they are. In other countries, they are built with walls but our own is just an iron used to block the road. The executive arm of government has to do something about the borders, so they can be tight enough.” He said.
While appealing for a three months extension to enable those who brought in their vehicles without paying duties to do so, Mr. Abejide said that those that failed to pay up within the specified time should be prosecuted and jailed.
While speaking, the Assistant Comptroller General in charge of modernization, ACG Saidu Galadima urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Nigerian Government to avoid patronizing smuggled vehicles.
ACG Galadima explained that all NCS officers involved in allowing such cars to be smuggled into the country are being penalized.
ACG Galadima said the Customs activities are being fully automated and will reduce or eliminate the current concerns on their operations.
He explained that this would in turn decongest the country’s ports and block revenue leakages.
Our target is to facilitate trade. Believe you me, it may interest you to note, even though we Nigerians don’t appreciate it. Of all the almost 200 member nations of WCO, only 14 were adjudged to have simplified clearance procedure, and the Nigeria Customs happens to be one,” he said.