The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has ordered the immediate removal of all illegal Customs checkpoints across the country.
The directive is contained in a circular CNS/ENF/ABJ/032/S.35, issued yesterday, in Abuja, by the Acting Deputy Comptroller of Customs in charge of Enforcement, Inspection and Investigation, Mr. A. Dangaladima.
He said that the circular was sequel to the directive of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) in the present administration’s determination to make doing business easier for the private sector.
According to the Customs authorities, any checkpoint beyond 40 kilometers from the border would be deemed illegal. “The 40 km radius applies only to the borders. Consequently, there should be no checkpoints within the ports”, it said further.
It also clarified that information patrols beyond that point should not last more than 24 hours at any given time. According to the circular, only two checkpoints at Agbara and Gbaji are approved along the Lagos-Badagry-Seme Road.
It warned that Zonal Coordinators, Comptrollers FOUs, CACs CIU and other units would be held responsible for flouting the directive. In a July 18, 2017 memo to the CGC, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment (Office of the Vice President), Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, who is also the Secretary of the PEBEC directed immediate implementation of the new reform initiative.
The CGC would be expected to give a status update on its implementation at the next meeting of the PEBEC on August 15.