NFF did not declare kits consignment until now--Customs

CAC Apapa Area 1, Comptroller Eporwei Edike
The controversy over the alleged seizure of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) kits consignment by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) was on Tuesday resolved by both organisations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that media reports had it last week that the NCS, Apapa Area 1 Command, allegedly seized the national teams’ kits.
But the NCS on Tuesday said that the NFF never declared any consignment at the port until Oct. 13 when its delegation visited the command.
The command’s Controller, Mr Eporwei Edike, made the assertion at a meeting with officials of the NFF over the controversial seizure allegation.
NAN reports that the command had thrown a challenge to the sport body to prove the allegation but it could not.
A NAN Correspondent who was at the meeting between both bodies at Apapa on Tuesday reports that as at the time of the meeting, the NFF had not made any formal documentation for processing of cargo clearance.
NAN also reports that the NFF delegation comprised Mr Buba Danjuma, an official of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr Tajudeen Tiamiyu, Head of Store of the NFF and Dr Christian Emeruwa, the Senior Assistant to the NFF General Secretary.
Emeruwa told the controller that the NFF was not aware that the consignment arrived at the Apapa port because it had never received consignments through sea shipment.
He said it was only after it confirmed from the management of Nike, a sports gear brand, that it knew the cargo was sent to Apapa.
Emeruwa, however, said the NFF did not know how to go about processing the clearance of the goods.
He said that as at the time of the meeting, the body did not have an agent to help with the clearance of the consignment.
He denied the reports in some media that the consignment was seized by the command.
``We do not know where that report came from because nobody granted such information to the media.
``Our press statements are usually on our site and as we speak, nothing of such is there,’’ he said.
Edike said that since the position had been clarified that customs did not seize NFF’s football teams’ kits consignment, the command would assist to fast-track the release of the goods.
``We will assist the NFF with the conditional release so that the teams can have their kits quickly.
``But that will require the NFF to immediately raise a form `M’ and submit it with an evidence of the Bill Lading from the shipping company.
``With this, a conditional release will be granted after payment at the bank pending when they come and perfect the process.
``We know the importance of football as something every Nigerian enjoys, so, we will gladly assist the NFF to complete the process immediately,’’ Edike said.
He explained that the customs procedure for clearing cargo is on the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) which required processing before arrival of the cargo and not after its arrival.
He restated that the command did not tolerate delays of procedure handling by officers and that remains a mark of operation of the command.