Tax expert and stalwart of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Olusegun Ajibulu, has called on the Federal Government to beam its searchlight on the operations of men of the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) at the Lagos Port, to curtail the lingering regime of extortions and high-level theft on imported goods into the country.
Ajibulu, made this call after a recent ordeal in which he lost goods worth about 15 million naira to men of the Customs service and other miscreants operating at the Apapa Lagos port.
The America based Accountant cum politician, Ajibulu, who narrated his sad ordeal to journalists in Ado; Ekiti State capital city, lamented how men of the Nigeria Customs Service at the Apapa port, threw discipline and caution into the winds to extort money from importers at the port.
According to him, these men of the NCS mount sundry illegal checkpoints on exiting highway from the port, causing traffic havoc and untold hardship for road users and those doing business in the axis.
“The style with which they demand money from importers is not only embarrassing but pathetic. It is so bad that you will wonder if any importer can ever make any gain from international business after passing through these bare-faced daylight extortionists.
“I was made to cough out several undocumented amounts totaling about 15 million naira, starting from the one that cleared my goods to those who mounted multiple makeshift checkpoints on the path to exit the port. It is so bad that such roadblocks are within a space of 5 to 10 meters to each other. They don’t care if your papers are okay or not. Those of us with valid papers for our goods are the most frustrated. They tell you so rudely to pay their dues or you remain there. This daylight theft has to be curbed or we keep rubbishing the image of our country the more in the comity of nations,” he said.
Ajibulu said the most painful of his experience is the way his container was pilfered into by men of the NCS after the good arrived and all the contents found to be intact.
“The goods came in and was checked and found intact. I even took the pictures. Things took another turn when the good was eventually released; after being delayed for about three weeks, only to found that my container had been wickedly vandalized. They made away with many of my personal effects, medical equipment, things sent through me by friends to their relations in Nigeria, motor parts etc. And when you even complain, no one feel concern,” he narrated.