Licenced Customs Agents Urge Govt to Clampdown on Illegal Activities in Onne Port



Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt  

Licenced Customs agents operating at the Onne Port in Rivers State, have called on the federal government to clampdown on ongoing illegal activities at the port.

This is as the agents have lamented they are losing their importers because of the business activities of the Eastern warehouse owners in the area.

They alleged that owners of the bonded warehouses operate in connivance with some officials of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

The agents also claimed that owners of the warehouses use second-hand spare parts to clear goods at the Onne Port, sabotaging federal government economy through under-payment of import duties.

According to them, the Eastern bonded warehouse owners use concealment in clearing goods at the port at lower rates, thereby undermining the business relationships they have with their clients.

One of the agents, Nelson Ejiofor, who spoke with journalists at the weekend, lamented that because of the way bonded warehouse owners operate, they are using goods concealment and delivery to push them out of business.

Ejiofor lamented: “The bonded warehouse owners are not allowing us to do our normal business. They use “used spare parts” to subvert import duties.

“Some of us are losing our clients to owners of bonded warehouses because of these their activities. It is really affecting us badly and we cannot continue this way.”

Another licenced agent, Chukwudi Okereke, agreed with Nelson’s allegation, adding that it is difficult to convince an importer whose goods were cleared at sea port with low amount to give business to someone with a high amount.

He said: “As I am talking to you, I know how many millions I am losing. After you have cleared the goods at the sea port and delivered them to your clients, when you present your bill, your clients would tell you that Mr. Nwachukwu spent lower amount to clear his containers. Why is your own different?

“And, when you investigate this claim, you find out that it is true, because they (bonded warehouse owners) are using all these used spare parts to do the job. The thing is really affecting us.”

The agents, however, called on relevant government authorities to investigate this allegation and nip in the bud such criminal activities going on at the Onne Sea Port. 

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