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FOU will continue to intercept suspected containers on highways, says Customs CG

The Federal Operations Unit(FOU) of the Nigeria Customs Service will
continue with its mandate to intercept any suspected container on the highways,
to check any perceived fraudulent practice.

The Comptroller -General of Customs, retired Col. Hameed Ali, stated this
at a news conference in Lagos where he briefed the press on his working visit
to Lagos. 
The customs boss said it would not renege on its duty to police it’s
jurisdiction to ensure that revenue due government is not unduly lost.
“In 99 per cent he cases of highway interception of containers by our
officers, it is discovered that they did not have papers to prove they were
“The unit does not just intercept any container, but it does on
intelligence report.
“Henceforth, we will trace the container to know the officers on duty
and get them punished also because this can only be done in connivance,”
Ali said.
On the issue of the Senate summon for him to give reasons for lifting the
ban on rice importation through land borders, the comptroller general said
“there was never a ban on rice importation.”
He said it was the customs that restricted the collection of duty on rice
importation to the ports, but found now that people took advantage of the
disparity to import through land borders.
He said that was what informed the lift on the restriction, seeing that it
was no longer necessary.
Ali, however, clarified that on waivers; only diplomatic cargoes would
enjoy that privilege after proper scrutiny. 
He said his administration as the customs boss, would focus on how to
create an enabling environment to support the drive for more revenue into
government account.

“The drive for improve revenue generation will entail getting the
scanners to work at the port.
“It will also require reforms that will help people change their
negative attitude.”
The CGC said that while misconduct and fraudulent practices would not be tolerated,
he would make the system work, but not by sacking.
“We cannot sack everybody because we need people to do the job. My
duty is to make the system work and not to sack,” he said.
He said there was no doubt that some officers were corrupt elements in the
system, but his overall impression was that the operatives were doing well.
On his choice of not appearing in public dressed in the customs uniform,
Ali said it did not matter, so long as he worked satisfactorily on his mandate
for the service.

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