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Customs, agents’ collaboration necessary to tackle PAAR challenges, says Dikko

Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko

The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)Alhaji Abdulahi
Dikko,  wants the customs agents and
freight forwarders to collaboration with the Service to address some  challenges still facing the Pre -Arrival
Assessment Report (PAAR).
Dikko made the call at the weekend while speaking on the sidelines of the
60th anniversary and official commissioning of the permanent national secretariat
of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA) in Lagos.
He encouraged the stakeholders to work in harmony in order to find lasting
solutions to the challenges that had been identified with the PAAR regime,
rather than engage in trading blames.
“I think it is better that we sit down and look at it intelligently and
bring about the solving of that problem harmoniously.”

Earlier, the National President of ANLCA, Prince
Olayiwola Shittu, in his opening address at the commissioning
ceremony,requested the Customs chief to set up a committee involving very
responsible members of his association to look into the complaints of agents
concerning the PAAR.
 Shittu said: “I will fail if I don’t tell
you about the yearnings of our people. You have tried and your name will be in
the history books for life. You may be in Abuja, but don’t know everything
that is happening on the field; our people are crying. I know we are here to
celebrate, but please, help us address the issue of PAAR.
 “PAAR is the best ever existent clearing
document established by any Customs authority all over the world, and this was
also confirmed in South Korea. We decided to embrace PAAR because it is a
facilitator and the World Customs Brokers, which we are members, recognised
PAAR as a sample for other countries. 
 “But, some Customs officers and agents may
be a stumbling block and I believe it is not your fault that you brought
something good to the country,” Shittu said.
The Customs Comptroller-General, however, noted that some of the hitches
currently being experienced with PAAR, which commenced only nine months ago,
could not be completely ruled out since according to him, the beginning of
every endeavor always faced such challenges.
He said that since handing over Destination Inspection to the Nigeria
Customs Service was not in the interest of the erstwhile service providers,
they abandoned some unfinished Risk Assessment Report (RAR) documents to the
Service.
 “PAAR is Nigeria’s creation; it is
Customs creation and it is just nine months. As human beings you should know
that every beginning is difficult and we must expect teething problems from the
beginning.
“Don’t forget that the people who left did not want to leave so they will
leave behind a lot of problems, which will cause problems between me and you.
So, we are better with solving the problem harmoniously,” the
Comptroller-General said.
He reiterated that service providers would no longer perform Customs job or
collect duty on its behalf, hence the need to critically look at addressing the
problem rather than trading of blame.
 “Let me assure you that even if I leave the Comptroller-General
position, no other agency will come back and collect duty on behalf of the  NCS, so it is better while we are perfecting
whatever is the problem, let us look at it critically  and solve it between ourselves,” Dikko said.

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