The Area 2 Branch of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Custom Agents has suspended its strike over disagreement with the Customs Service. The suspension follows an agreement between the association and the Nigerian Custom Service.
Chairman of the association, Mike Ebeatu, said during a meeting that after series of engagements with officials of the Nigerian Custom Service, they decided to call off the strike. He said the association also gave two weeks to the Customs to implement decisions reached with them.
The chairman explained that members of the association did not embark on strike for the authority to remove or sack any government officials, but to stop the victimisation and oppression as well as the excesses by Customs and security agents within the port. “Our intention is not that the authority should sack any custom officers but to ensure that some security agents and Customs officers will stop the harassment against our members.
It is never part of our plan to remove any body. I want to appeal to the members not to fight any Customs officer but to ensure that you comport yourselves professionally so that people will not see us as touts”. “Having gotten 70 percent of our demand, we need to end our strike.
This is an indication that we have not lost this battle. However, we have done well in our struggle”. Ebeatu stated that since Customs agents generate billions of naira for Nigeria, there was no need for the Nigerian Customs to impose series of charges and customs duties on them.
The chairman also told members of the association to do the right thing by ensuring that their consignments were properly examined at the examination check point. “Whether you are right or not, ensure that the examination of your consignment or goods is done at the examination point or check point”. He described their meeting with the Nigeria Customs as a serious engagement.
He urged the members of the association to remain focused and dedicated to their business assuring that the leadership of the association would continue to defend their interest and inclination. Also speaking, the chairman of the Technical and Implementation Committee, Chief Ifeanyi Osita said that members of the Technical and Implementation Committee would not only concentrate on their template and terms of reference but would start their work immediately.
“As members of the Technical and Implementation Committee our work starts now. We are going to start here to deliberate on our assignment. In fact, the template we are going to come up with will stop multiple charges from Custom and sister security agents. So, be rest assured that we will work for the overall interest and welfare of the members.” Chief Osita assured.