The Nigeria Customs Service has cleared the air on its recent circular which reportedly empowered the Comptroller General’s special intervention team codenamed ‘CG Strike Force’ to intercept containers inside the seaports, saying that the team was directed to intercept only ‘suspected cargoes’ and not all containers being cleared from the port.
The National Public Relations Officer of Customs, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah posted that the strike force was not directed to erode the powers of resident custom officers and the area controllers.
Attah stated that “There appears to be deliberate misinterpretation of the recent circular from the Customs Headquarters to suit some individuals or group interests”
“A circular that insists Strike force team should be involved in the examination of suspected containers or those with strike force alert is now being given exaggerated meaning to include ” sweeping powers that erodes Area Controllers’ powers”
“Some even say it’s lack of confidence on the resident officers”
He stressed that the circular only reaffirms the power of the team to intervene only on suspected containers and the day to day running of any command which is the prerogative of the Customs Area Controllers.
He assured that the Coordinator of the Strike force, Deputy Comptroller Abdullahi Kirawa is aware of his limitation and will not attempt to go beyond his brief.
“It’s only fair not to exaggerate on legitimate strategic step being taken by NCS management to ensure compliance and protect national economy and security” Attah cleared