More facts have emerged on why container loads of fertilisers and gas cookers imported into the country are sometimes seized or not cleared by officials of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS).
Speaking exclusively with the Nigerian Tribune, Spokesperson of the Apapa Customs Command, Nkiru Nwala, stated that emerging security trend in Nigeria has forced government to include fertilisers and gas cookers alongside other importations that have security concerns under End User Certificate (EUC) requirement, following their devastating use by militants groups terrorising some parts of the country.
According to Nwala, “Following emerging security trends in the country, government discovered that these militant groups like Boko Haram and others were using fertilisers to make bombs. Gas cylinders are also part of the ingredients these terrorist add up in producing bombs that are used in wreaking havoc in some parts of the country. That was why fertiliser, gas cooker importations became highly controlled.
“Without End User Certificates (EUC) from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), these importations won’t be allowed to leave the ports due to their security implication.
“Based on emerging security trend, items are being added to the EUC rule. The Customs is a policy implementation agency of government and cannot challenge laws made by government to safe guard the country from criminal elements.”
Recall that clearing agents under the Save Nigeria Importers, Exporters and Freight Forwarders Coalition (SNIEFFC) had raised the alarm that thousands of Cargoes are currently trapped at the Apapa ports in Lagos over confusing demand for End User Certificates (EUC) by officers of the Apapa Customs Command of the Nigeria Customs Service.
The End User Certificate is issued by the federal government through the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) on importation of arms and ammunition or other military or security inclined cargoes.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos recently, Coordinator of SNIEFFC, Dr. Chukwu Osita Patrick, lamented that, “There are so many cargoes lying in the port today because of the End User Certificate controversy. When we engaged the Customs they told us that the NSA has had a meeting with them and directed them not to treat certain cargoes without End User Certificate.
“End User Certificate is for military inclined cargoes. if I am importing a consignment for the military, I would need the certificate so that they would give me authority to load the cargo. But in this case, Customs had extended the demand for End User Certificate on various cargoes, thereby making it difficult for us to clear,”
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