Stop Submitting Doctored Invoices, Customs Advises Port Operators

By Aisha Cole
Lagos –  Mr Yusuf Bashar, the Customs Area Comptroller, Tin-Can Island Command, has advised shippers and other industrialists to stop submitting `doctored’ and `adulterated’ invoices.

Bashar gave the advice on the sidelines of a workshop on “Ease of Doing Business Reform’’ organised by the Presidential Enabling Business Environmental Council (PEBC) in Lagos on Wednesday.

He urged shipping operators to also imbibe international best practices to reduce the time spent in clearing cargo at ports.

The comptroller said that neither the customs service nor the stakeholders should be blamed for delays experienced in the course of cargo clearance.

“It requires transparent operations. We have seen a country like Thailand move from very horrible position to number one in the Single Window cargo clearance system.

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“This is possible because Thailand’s citizens, Thailand’s Customs and other operators in that county pledged to improve their system, ‘’ Bashar said.

According to him, some years back, cargoes are imported through pallets and wondered why Nigerians should be importing without pallets.

Bashar expressed concern that Nigerians had refused to bother about international best practices.

“Ease of Doing Business’’ was based on transparency, integrity of data and having the love of the country at heart.

“ASYCUDA++ gives opportunity to a group at the point of shipment of cargo.

“If you want to ship for example mobile phones to Nigeria, you are entitled to a bill of lading and the ASYCUDA system gives you the opportunity to log into the Single Goods Declaration (SGD) and clear them out of the container.

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“Then the owner of the handsets can leave the rest of the cargo in the container because the entire cargo does not belong to him,’’ Bashar said.

He said that Customs would continue to improve on sensitisation of stakeholders as the ease of doing business was all about transparency in data processing.

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