The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has warned the public against the activities of internet fraudsters extorting innocent individuals seeking employment into the service.
NCS Public Relations Officer, Comptroller Joseph Attah, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
Attah noted that the service recruitment platform was opened for two weeks in December 2021, and had closed.
He said the mandatory six months basic training for the successfully enlisted candidates into the service commenced on Jan. 10.
“Anywhere you see any link saying you should pay any amount for NCS recruitment/training programme, it is not from the customs.
“All those who claim they paid certain amounts of money for the training programme are all victims of “419” otherwise known as fraudsters because our link was opened for two weeks and has been closed.”
He said the service would continue to sensitise the public on such acts, to discourage people from patronising such fraudsters.
“Why would somebody give you a private account to pay a certain amount of money into, for a recruitment or training programme and you will pay into that account. People should be wise and flee from such,” he advised.
Some of the victims of the NCS recruitment scam said that they were fleeced by the fraudsters, who asked them to pay N40, 000 for the exercise.
One of the female victims, who preferred to be anonymous, stated that she paid N40,000 to a private account for the exercise.
It could be recalled that Attah had announced in a statement on Dec. 30, that the six months basic training for the enlisted candidates into the service would commence on Jan. 10, in its training colleges in Kano and Lagos.
Customs, UN agency collaborate to fight smuggling
“On behalf of the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service, I wish to inform you that we will partner with you in this campaign, and we will grant you all forms of support you may need to carry out this campaign — and I want to assign one of our amiable DCGs, Abba Kura, to work with you closely.”
He appreciated how they traveled from afar to inform the Nigeria Customs Service of their campaign against smuggling, which, according to him, the Nigeria Customs Service has already started yielding positive results in suppressing the menace of smuggling.
The CGC also welcomed Dr Raymond’s offer to engage officers and men of the Service in capacity—building to enhance their understanding of digital literacy skills, adding that the Service has already started embracing technology to advance its work by introducing related courses to officers.
The CGC appreciated the collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and UN—Habitat and believes that the collaboration signifies a commitment to tackling smuggling and enhancing trade facilitation in the nation, setting the stage for a more prosperous future.
He also appreciated their pledge to train officers and men of the Service in digital literacy skills, assuring that the Service will continue to prioritize proficiency in the fight against smuggling through a technological approach.
He underscored the importance of digital skills, promising that the relevant Service department will enhance trade facilitation.
On his part, the Director of UN—Habitat, Dr. Raymond Edoh, appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for reposing the responsibility of heading the Nigeria Customs Service on the Acting Comptroller-General, describing him as “a competent Customs officer who knows the terrain and masters the job.”
According to him, they decided to visit the Ag. CGC at the Customs Headquarters to express their interest in partnering with the Service.
He appreciated the Service for being a “gatekeeper of the country” that protects citizens against border threats, stressing that his organization will collaborate with NCS to mitigate the smuggling of illicit goods and train officers and men of Customs on digital literacy skills and certification.
UN-Habitat is the United Nations entity responsible for developing urban policies and translating them into action to create sustainable cities and promote viable urban development and adequate shelter for all.
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Nigeria, Republic of Benin deepen cross-border trade facilitation
Adeniyi made this known on Tuesday, 12th September 2023, when he officially received Senior Officers of Benin Customs, led by their Director-General, Alain Hinkati, at the Nigeria Customs Headquarters Abuja, in continuation of their two-day interactive session.
Other areas that the partnership will address include enhancing the proper use of International Transit Guidelines to govern transit-bound goods and fees from Cotonou Port to Nigeria and integration of Nigeria into the Interconnected System for the Management of Goods in Transit.
The Customs boss further highlighted that the treaty between the two Agencies “will prepare the way for an in-depth mechanism to harmonize the import prohibition lists of products banned by the two countries.
“In view of our commitment to curb smuggling and unlawful trade through our borders, we deemed it necessary to meet and form a strong agreement that will support our strategic plans to implement technological-base measures of clearing and tracking of items at our borders.”
The Ag. CGC, however, affirmed that the Nigeria Customs Service has concluded plans to promote good relations with border communities with a view to actualizing full participation of private sectors and frameworks of border Customs Units.
Speaking further, the Ag. CGC appreciated the Benin Customs and Embassy of the country for expressing interest in collaborating with the Nigeria Customs Service to enhance trade facilitation.
“The Customs administration in both countries have a very good idea and technical know-how on what it means with trade; thus, we are back with a renewed enthusiasm to foster our relationship and make an impact on our trade facilitation roadmap.
“We hope that the program will address the issues of trade and set a roadmap for the implementation of new strategies that will enhance the economy and revenue in Nigeria and Benin Republic.”
The Director General of the Benin Republic Customs, Alain Hinkati, said, “It is our hope that the program will address the issues of trade and set a roadmap for implementation of new strategies that will enhance the economy and revenue in Nigeria and Benin Republic.”
According to him, the two organizations need to develop ideas to address transit issues and other progressive measures.
He said with the increasing global security challenges, the need for both customs administrations to work in synergy cannot be over-emphasized, adding that their intended mutualism will boost their relationship to improve the economy of both nations.
Meanwhile, the joined communique signed by the Ag. Comptroller-General of the Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi and Director-General of the Bennese Customs, Alain Hinkati, highlighted that their meeting favours the desire of the two countries’ presidents: Bola Ahmad Tinubu and Patrice Talon to strengthen the shared commitment to enhancing trade facilitation and promoting economic development.
Other areas that will benefit the countries are fostering closer ties to Nigeria and Benin and reactivating the joint committee for monitoring trade and transit relations.
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