Friday, 9 October 2015

Mr Eporwei EdikeEdike - Customs did not seize NFF’s consignment – Apapa Controller

The Apapa Area 1 Command of the Nigeria Customs Service says it did not seize any consignment belonging to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The Command’s Area Controller, Mr Eporwei EdikeEdike, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Lagos on Friday.

He spoke against the backdrop of news reports which alleged that the service seized the Federation’s consignment for the football teams.

Edike said that the Federation was free to approach the customs if they had any challenge.

“Nobody is aware of such consignment and if NFF, a government organisation, has such consignment and after a day or two, it is not cleared, will they just sit down like that?

“They should make enquiry or call their agent, ask the agent what is happening.

“Where another day goes by, then, they should, with their agent, come or call the PRO (Public Relations Officer) to ask the PRO what is happening, If they cannot reach the PRO, the DC Terminal.

“If they cannot reach the DC (Deputy Comptroller) Terminal, their is the APM, if they cannot reach the APM, the Area Controller is here.

“None of them has contacted any of us and we are not aware of such consignment in the port.

“And of course, here, part of our mark here is that no officer delays anybody’s papers on his table for more than 10, 15 minutes, after then it (the officer) must let his supervisor know.

“After about 10, 15 minutes, the next senior person must also hear until it comes to the Area Controller’s desk, but nobody has brought such to me. And NFF too has not brought such report to me.

“We are not aware, we are not aware if NFF has any consignment, not to talk of being here since September.

“If they have, let them come and meet us, but then. If they are also having other difficulties that they cannot approach us, let them summon courage and come.

“We all appreciate what they are doing and if they have any difficulty, once they meet us, we can see how we can assist them, to make things easier for them, so that Nigerians can be happy, because football is something that makes everybody happy. ‘’

Speaking on the clearance period for cargo, Edike said that it would only take a day to clear consignment in the port if the importer of any product had his or her papers properly filed for processing.

“If your papers are straight, you can start the same day and go the same day. That means that you can obtain customs release the same day.

“Now, once your papers are all in your hand and you go to the DTI café, and you lodge, you pay.

“All of that is still what we call Trader’s Zone, because there are two zones; there is a trader’s zone and there isalso a Customs Zone.

“At the time you go to DTI café, you make your lodgement, and after that, you go and pay.

“It is at the time you pay at the bank that this payment hits customs server.

“That is when your declaration now comes to Customs zone. You will then go to the terminal operator, position the container for physical examination.’’

The controller, however, warned that in cases where people had queries to answer over value, quantity declaration, the command would take it seriously to ensure that government did not lose revenue. (NAN)

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