The Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Retired Col. Hameed Ali has directed strict enforcement of all relevant provisions of the extant laws of NCS on ships and vessels that berth illegally outside Customs ports.
The directive is contained in a circular issued by the service dated Jan. 21, 2016, and sent to all units, commands and zonal headquarters.
The circular was signed on behalf of the comptroller-general by a Deputy Comptroller-General, Ms Grace Adeyemo.
It explained that the directive followed intelligence reports which indicated some form of compromise by NCS officers.
``Intelligence reports reaching headquarters indicate some form of compromise by officers where deliberate acts of impunity are perpetuated through illegal berthing of ships/vessels and mid-stream discharge of cargo other than officially designated Customs Ports despite existing circulars.
``In effect, I am directed to reiterate and convey the Comptroller-General of Customs directive on strict enforcement of the Extant Laws and Circulars in that regard.
``That on no circumstance should any ship/vessel coming in from foreign, berth at any other place other than the conventional ports first.
``Where any of such ship/vessel is Free Zone-bound or designate, it shall set sail thereafter under official escort of the Enforcement Unit of the Command for further official processes.
``You are further directed to enforce strictly all relevant provisions of the Extant laws including Section 26 of customs and excise management act (CEMA) upon any encountered violation in that regard,’’ the circular said.