Customs to phase out public DTI Cafes

ACG Eporwei Edike with President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu on arrival to the ANLCA Secretariat, Lagos 
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Thursday said it would phase out all public Direct Trade Input (DTI) Cafes being used by licensed agents by the  end of March.
Deputy Controller in charge of ICT at the Zone ‘A’ Command, Musa Baba Yusuf, made the assertion while assuring licensed customs agents in Lagos of efforts by the service to checkmate illegal use of agents’ licences without their knowledge.

Yusuf spoke as a member of the team that accompanied the Assistant Comptroller-General in charge of the zone, Mr Eporwei Edike, who was on a working visit to the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA) Secretariat in Amuwo- Odofin, Lagos.

Earlier, Edike had told the association that with private DTI Cafes, and individual password for operators, sanity would be restored since no one can process any information at the café without his password.

OnepageAfrica reports that many licenced customs agents had complained of their licences being blocked as they were accused of various offences they were not aware of.

Responding to the various concerns raised by the ANLCA members, Edike appreciated the President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, even as he urged members of the association to engage in their jobs with dedication.

Speaking on the issue of licences being blocked without drawing the attention of agents to the matter, Edike said, “The DC will tell you how to resolve it.
“If no reason is given for blocking the licence, then we will take it up.”

On valuation, Edike said he had often handled that aspect carefully, so that they could justify the issuance of a DN.

He urged licenced agents to be bold and not allow themselves to be intimidated by anybody.

He advised the agents to be careful with their licences, in order not to give room for misuse by some staff who they entrust with such responsibility that requires the use of their licences.

Edike promised to ensure that delays were done with, to save the customs agents the agony of paying avoidable demurrage.

The ACG also advised the customs agents operating at Lilypond and the Kirikiri Lighter Terminals to be steadfast in the business in spite of the low-level economic activities they complained of, with a hope for a general improvement in the business environment.

He told the association that government had mandated the Nigerian Ports Authority to be in charge of overtime containers to be transferred to Ikorodu.

Thanking the ACG for his visit, Prince Shittu said the Comptroller-General of Customs had done well to give them opportunity to take their complaints to the zonal office, instead of often rushing to Abuja with every complaint.

Shittu requested that a decentralised system in issuing of licence be adopted, while the renewal of their licence should be extended to about five years instead of doing so annually.

He said that the association would be able to triple the revenue if it got the right support.

He also urged the ACG to only deal with recognised agents, who could be traced in case of any challenge.