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Customs did not seize NFF’s consignment, says 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 Comptroller Eporwei Edike, who is in charge of the Command, 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

“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 is also a Customs Zone.

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

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

“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.
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