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How Customs brokers misused VIN code to circumvent the policy—Tin Can CAC

Comptroller Oloyede
—–says VIN has come to stay
Eyewitness reporter.
The Area Controller of the Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Olakunle Oloyede, has declared that deliberate misuse of code by the fright forwarders was the major challenge which the service had during the implementation of the Vehicles Identification Number (VIN) valuation policy before its withdrawal.
It could be recalled that the introduction of VIN valuation policy by the Customs sparked off an outrage among the freight forwarders who accused customs of indescriminate and arbitrary imposition of higher and unrealistic values on vehicles.
The agitations eventually made the Customs to suspend the controversial policy for fine-tuning.
However, at a recent media briefing in Lagos, Comptroller Oloyede explained that in a bid to circumvent the policy to pay lower values, clearing agents deliberately mis- applied the VIN code which caused disruptions in the customs system.
“What happened in the VIN Valuation was the misuse of the code”  the erudite risk manager stated.
“We have standard VIN and Non-Standard VIN which we created in import regime and procedures form.”We created, on standard Vin, a procedure code 4000 000

“For Non- Standard VIN, we created 4000 846.

“Standard VIN has 17 digits while Non-Standard VIN  has less or more.

“We know vehicles coming in from China or Europe come with less 17 digits.

“So to accommodate all types of VINs, we need two VINs.

“But the agents, being what they are, they were using 846 code, by either reducing  a digit from the 17 or putting a dot or a slash.

“As a risk manager at the headquarters,  we profiled the declarations they made because anytime we deploy a solution, we expect a feedback of either a negative or positive.

“That will allow us to update, upgrade or fine tune the system.

“But we didn’t have a feedback of either negative ot positive. We later found out, during the risk profile of about 7,000 declarations , we found out that there was a misuse of code.

“It was as a result of that misuse and to correct it that I was brought here.

“When I explained this things to them(agents), they later agreed with me. They even have a problem with value” he declared.

Comptroller Oloyede however said that the much vilified policy has come to stay because it is the norm all over the world in the automation of customs processes.
“I can authoritatively tell you that VIN valuation is going no where.

“It is part of the destructive technologies  we are talking about that will aid trade facilitation.

“We are talking about biometrics, we are talking about artificial intelligence, we are talking about scanners, we are talking about machineries and a whole lot of things.

“VIN valuation is one of them and it is used all over the world which allows you to trace stolen vehicles.

“Most times,INTERPOL will write to us.

“Once you put the VIN, it will give you the history of the vehicle.

“The next stage of VIN Valuation is V- REG. VIN Valuation is a very small part of V-Registration.

“Those who are in charge of V-Reg wanted to take the valuation aspect,when I was in Abuja but we said no, Valuation belongs to Customs.That was why we developed VIN Valuation”

He however acknowledged that the policy has its flaws.
According to him, the customs authority later discovered that the VIN system does not accommodate 10 per cent depreciation level of vehicles, hence the reason why it was suspended for fine-tuning.
“Along the line, we found out that the 10 per cent depreciation was not included, that is why we pulled it down.”Before we bring it up again, we will do enough public enlightment.

“When we did the last one, we had Webinar but our people(Agents) are not with us when it comes to ICT”

The Customs Chief further disclosed that the service will keep improving on the policy until it gets to near perfection.
“We keep at it until we get it perfectly.”When you are developing a solution, you don’t get 100 per cent accuracy, if you get 65 percent to 75 percent, you leave the rest  to update and  upgrade.

“That is how a solution works. No perfect solution. There must be a gap for update and upgrade.
But the policy has come to stay.
“Vin Valuation policy is the fiscal policy of government. It has come to stay” he concluded.

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Exclusive! Mass retirement hits Customs as 549 officers bow out of service in 2023

CGC, Ali


Break down; DCG( I), ACG (6),Comptrollers(30), DC(68) AC (110),CSC(133),SC (52),DSC(79) ,ASC1(58) ,ASC11(11),CA1(1)

Eyewitness reporter

A whirlwind  of retirement has hit the Nigeria Customs Service as 549 officers of different cadres have been penciled down for statutory retirement in 2023,

In a circular no HRD/2022/13 sighted by our reporter, the breakdown of the affected officers shows that 1 DCG, 6 ACG, 30 Comptrollers, 68 Deputy Comptrollers, 110 Assistant Comptrollers, 133 Chief Superintendent of Customs, 52 Superintendent of Customs, 79 Deputy Superintendents, 58 Assistant Superintendent of Customs1, 11 Assistant Superintendent of CustomsII and 1 Customs AssistantI, were due for retirement in 2023.

According to the circular dated May 10th, 2022 with reference number NCS/ADM/EST/098/S.1 and signed by OM Agbara, Comptroller of Establishment for AG. Deputy Comptroller-General (HDR), the affected officers, who are being shipped out of the service on account of age or number of years in the service, are advised to proceed on three months pre-retirement leave, three months to the effective date of their retirement.

The circular titled list of Officers/men for statutory retirement in the year 2023” reads

”I am directed to forward the attached list on the above subject matter as pre-retirement notice to all affected officers.
” ln accordance with the Public service Rule (PSR) No. 100238 and Federal Government circular No.63216/S.i/X/T; CR 1,/2OO1/5 of 2O/O3/2OOl, all affected officers due for retirement in 2023 are to disengage from the active service and proceed on three (3)months pre-retirement leave, three months to the effective date of retirement.
” AII affected officers are to ensure compliance and forward their three months pre-retirement notice to the Comptroller-General
” Any observed error, omission, or legitimate complaints should be forwarded to the office of the Comptroller General of Customs through the Ag. Deputy Comptroller-General (HRD) on or before 30th June 2022.
” Zonal Coordinators, Area Controllers, and Unit Heads are requested to make the list available for circulation to all the affected officers in their respective Zones, Areas, and Units
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Customs High Command interdicts officers over assault on Gov. Okonwa’s aide

Eyewitness reporter
The management of the Nigeria Customs Service has reacted to the viral video where a member of the roving team of the FOU Zone ‘C’ assaulted an unarmed civilian.
In the press statement signed by Timi Bomodi, the National Public Relations Officer of the service, the Customs High Command expressed outrage over the conduct of its officer and said the offending officer and other members of his team have been withdrawn from their patrol duties and placed under administrative investigation.
“The attention of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to a video making the rounds on social media.
“In it, one of our officers was recorded assaulting an unarmed civilian.
“This action took place on the Benin – Agbor expressway on Saturday the 7th of May 2022 at about 5.00 pm.
“This officer and other members of that team from FOU Zone ‘C’ have since been withdrawn from patrol duties and are currently under administrative investigation at the NCS Zonal Headquarters Zone ‘C’ Port Harcourt.
“Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service have been trained to carry out their duties with dignity and respect, and are expected to display decorum in all their conduct at all times.
“Where they fail to carry out their brief as assigned, appropriate sanctions are applied to enforce discipline.
” The NCS would like to reassure the general public of its commitment to the welfare and safety of all citizens and frowns seriously at any act by its personnel capable of misrepresenting its corporate image.
“We ask that all law-abiding persons go about their activities without fear of intimidation or harassment as we work assiduously to bring closure to this unwholesome incident” the statement concluded.
In the viral video which has sparked public outrage, a Customs Officer attached to the roving team of the Custom’s FOU Zone C, was seen slapping a civilian identified as Samson Nwachukwu,  an aide to the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okonwa, along Benin/ Agbor expressway Saturday, May 7th, 2022.
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Drama as Customs officer slaps Gov Okowa’s aide along Benin/Agbor expressway (Video)

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