Following protests over the VIN Valuation Policy of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) by freight forwarders, the Customs Area Controller, Tincan Island Port, Comptroller Adekunle Oloyede, has called on stakeholders to seek engagement with the Service and ensure continuous capacity building for their members.
According to him, stakeholders should take advantage of the trade facilitation tools available in the Command to resolve any issue that may arise in the clearance process, especially now that the Service is advancing to full automation.
Compt. Oloyede stated this during his inaugural meeting with some port users on the VIN Valuation Policy which has generated tension leading to protests.
In a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the Command, Uche Ejesieme, the CAC reiterated the core functions of the Service as Collection/Generation of Revenue, Suppression of Smuggling and Border Security, Facilitation of Trade and Enforcement of Fiscal and Monetary Policies of the Federal Government.
He pointed out that the Service conducted series of Webinar on the subject before it was finally deployed and wondered why the issue has generated furore at a time the Service had thought the process is seamless.
The statement partly read: “On the recent protests carried out by Freight Forwarders as a result of the VIN Policy, the Customs Area Controller charged them to de-emphasize the issue of strike actions for whatever reason as he pointed out that protests have never solved any problem anywhere in the world.
“He reminded them about the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC), the Help Desk, among others as avenues where grievances can be channeled for expeditious resolution.
“The Stakeholders had ventilated their challenges beyond the VIN Valuation to other issues hindering their operations and the Customs Area Controller promised to look into the issues very dispassionately to ensure that an enabling environment is created for compliant traders.
“He charged the Stakeholders to brace up for the challenges ahead particularly with the anticipated full automation of our processes and procedures and reassured that full automation will lead to ease of doing businesses and called stakeholders to embrace and become ICT savvy to enable them cope with the realities.
“On the raging issue, he advised stakeholders to continue to engage and avoid situation where Agents could resort to self help and create room for miscreants to hijack the process and wreck havoc in the system”.
Compt. Oloyede assured stakeholders of his preparedness to run an open and transparent regime to ensure that all opinions are accommodated in the Trade Value Chain.