The Controller, Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abubakar Bashir, has warned clearing agents who are yet to perfect their Pre-Arrival Assessment Report to do so or risk losing their operating licences.
He gave this warning in Lagos at a meeting with stakeholders in his Lagos office.
He said that the command had over 1,000 PAARs issued to agents that were left unutilised in order to evade duty.
“We have over 1,000 unutilized PAARs. Why? If you know your company or you are clearing for such companies that have unutilised PAAR or unpaid assessment, please go and check your record because I’m going to block you.
“Your company will not be able to clear cargo in any port in Nigeria. Secondly, if you don’t act, we are going to seal up your company and arrest you if you are the importer because it amounts to economic sabotage.
According to the Customs Controller, containers abandoned at the ports make it difficult for vessels to berth, adding, “Quite a number of our terminals inside the ports are littered with goods belonging to one or two companies.
“So vessels are finding it difficult to come in and berth and discharge. We have made a position to the headquarters on that. We should not rub salt into the wound after the gridlock; we are at the same time succeeding in delaying ourselves due to some of the hindrances within ourselves.
“Any cargo you have within Customs’ approved stations in Nigeria, after 28 days, the NCS has the right to take that cargo. We will write to the court and they will give us court condemnation. With that, the government has right over the cargo, according to the Customs Excise Management Act.”
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