Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Removal of illegal checkpoints ordered by the Customs CG orders

Col. Hamid Ali, The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service has ordered the dismantling of all checkpoints mounted outside 40 kilometres to the border Following a presidential directive .

Also, the CG said there should be no checkpoints within the Port areas.
He asked all customs comptrollers to ensure that information patrols outside borders should not last more than 24 hours.

He said all Zonal Coordinators, Comptrollers FOUs, CACs, CIU, and other units will be jointly held responsible for flouting the directive.

These directives were contained in Circular No 10/2017, which was dated July 25, 2017.

The circular, titled “Removal of all illegal check-points across the country,” was signed by the Acting Deputy Comptroller-General (E, I and I), Mr. A. A. Dangaladima.

The letter said: “Reference to the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Letter No: PEBEC/EBES/SSAITIOVP/TWN/03 of 18th July 2017 on the above subject-matter, a copy of which is herewith attached.

“ I am directed to convey CGC’s directive to all the Commands and Units to ensure immediate implementation.

“For avoidance of doubt, it is hereby emphasized that check-points mounted outside forty (40) kilometers to the border are illegal, while information patrols outside this point should not last more than twenty four (24) hours at any given time.

“The forty (40) kilometres radius applies only to the borders and consequently there should be no check-points within the Port Areas.

“To further clarify these issues, it should be reminded strongly, that only two (2) check-points situated at AGBARA and GBAJI along Lagos- Badagry- Seme road are statutorily approved, for instance.

“Henceforth, Zonal Coordinators, Comptrollers FOUs, CACs, CIU and other Units will be jointly held responsible for flouting the directive.

“ Ensure widest circulation for strict compliance  please.”

According to findings, the CG of Customs announced the new steps following an advisory from the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).

The advisory, which was titled “Ease of doing business reform intervention: trading within Nigeria,” asked the Customs service to comply with the presidential mandate on or before August 11.

The advisory, dated July 18,   was signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment(Office of the Vice President)/PEBEC Secretary, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole.

The letter said: “Further to the mandate of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) of the scoping of reform initiatives to be implemented under the new reform area, trading within Nigeria, the technical committee of the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES), and key ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) including the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), have commenced weekly engagements for the implementation of these mandate.

“ From the ongoing scoping exercise of the Technical Committee, the following reform initiatives have been identified and agreed as short term reforms to be implemented by the NCS before Friday August 11, 2017:
  • Issuance of directive to all customs command across Nigeria to ensure removal of all check-points across Nigeria.
  • Enforcement of compliance of the above directive.
  • Creation of awareness on the approved NCS check points across Nigeria through publication on the NCS command office.
“Please be informed that NCS will be required to provide a status update to the council on the implementation of the above, stated initiatives at the next PEBEC meeting holding on August 15th, 2017.

“We are grateful for your continued support to EBES as we implement the council mandate.  Please accept the assurance of His Excellency, the acting President’s best regards.”

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