The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and clearing agents operating at the Tin-Can Island Port Complex, Apapa have agreed on need to modify the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Valuation policy recently introduced by the service.
In a town hall meeting held yesterday, at the Customs Training College, Ikeja, the assistant comptroller general of Customs, Zone A, Modupe Aremu said the service will heed the agents’ call for modifications on the policy.
She, however, told the clearing agents that the policy has come to stay, but, will aggregate their grievances, send it to the service management in Abuja for necessary modification.
She said, “Due to all the complaints that the agents gave today, we are going to go back to the drawing board to modify all the issues that they raised. We are going to modify their complaints and the modification will take care of the complaints of the clearing agents as regards VIN.”
When asked if she was satisfied with the meeting with the clearing agents, the Customs boss explained that it was like a family meeting and will be encouraged going forward.
“We talked and rubbed minds on a solution to this ongoing strike at the ports. The agents were actually trained ahead of the implementation of the VIN valuation. That was why we were not expecting this kind of response from them when we began the VIN implementation.
“Due to all the complaints that the agents gave today, we are going to go back to the drawing board to modify all the issues that they raised. Hopefully, very soon, we will get back to them on the outcome of the modification. VIN has come to stay, it cannot be suspended,” she said.
Also speaking, the deputy president, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Segun Musa, insisted that until Customs responds to the clearing agents’ request, the strike action at the ports will continue.
In his words, “The Customs has given us a time frame of Friday to get back to us, we will wait till Friday, to hear from them. Until, then, the strike continues.
“They (Customs) said tomorrow is their management meeting and that they will gave us feedback on what they decided on Friday. So, till then, we continue the strike.
“If after Friday, their feedback does not meet our expectations, then we will continue the strike.”