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Nigeria Customs Service Agency to look into controversy over discharge of oil, gas related cargoes

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had last year, issued a directive that all oil and gas related cargoes must be handled only at the designated terminals in Onne, Warri and Calabar ports.

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Hameed Ali play

Nigeria Customs Service boss, Hameed Ali

(Nigerian Watch)

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is to look into laws concerning the discharge of oil and gas related cargoes in some terminals in the country.

The Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Retired Col. Hammed Ali, stated this on Monday against the backdrop of controversies surrounding the discharge of oil and gas related-cargoes at designated terminals.

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had last year, issued a directive that all oil and gas related cargoes must be handled only at the designated terminals in Onne, Warri and Calabar ports.

Ali, who went on a tour of facilities of Snake Island Integrated Free Zone (SIIFZ) and Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base (LADOL), said the Customs management was now more knowledgeable about the zone’s activities.

He said, "I have listened to your presentations. I would like to assure you that President’s Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is one of fairness, equity and transparency.’’

The Customs chief said that said that in the past certain things were done in accordance with the laws.

He noted that the administration believed in doing business in accordance with the law.

"We as the Customs Service have no choice but to toe that line. We have to walk the path of equity and justice.

"We will look at the laws that exist. If we find anything contradictory to the laws, we will address it but if it is in accordance with the law, we are also in a position to let you know,’’ Ali added.

He said that the Customs service would cooperate with oil and gas related companies to improve its operations.

The Chairman of the SIIFZ, Mr Anwar Jarmakani, said that Nigeria was losing billions of naira due to a monopoly which allowed for the discharge of oil and gas related cargoes only at designated terminals in the country.

The SIIFZ is also the location of Nigerdock, a ship repair, fabrication, supply and logistics facility offering maritime, logistics and oil and gas services.

According to him, regrettably, attempts have been made in times past to also use the Customs to maintain monopoly.

"SIIFZ has created more than 6,000 direct jobs, supports over 100,000 families through indirect jobs and has delivered over 27000 training programmes.

"Free Zones increase and expand our industrial base and improve investments in the country. We are need positive change in line with the FG’s vision,’’ Jarmakani said.

At the Tin-Can Island Customs Command, the comptroller-general admonished officers in various customs commands in Lagos.

Ali urged Customs officers to be complaint, adding that customs website had been upgraded and accessible for everyone.

He said that the service platform was also professionalised to enlighten both officers and stakeholders on what they might have forgotten on customs operations.

Alli, however, urged officers to collaborate with other sister agencies to enable them achieve the mandate of the service.

The Zonal Coordinator in charge of Zone "A". Assistant Comptroller- General of Customs, Ekporwei Edike, said he had visited all the commands under the zone and ensured that officers were diligent and efficient in their duties.

Edike, however, urged active officers to manage the inactive officers to enable them to be active.

He said that officers should exploit all avenues to generate more revenue, adding that officers should be cognisance of the nation’s security.

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