LAGOS LAWMAKERS CONDEMN INCESSANT HARASSMENT OF BADAGRY BUSINESS OWNERS BY NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE

Officers and men of the Nigerian customs service have been condemned by the Lagos State House of Assembly over unwholesome activities of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) towards coconut traders and other business owners in the state.

The service was condemned by the Lawmakers sequel to a motion moved by Hon. David Setonji who sought his colleague support to condemn the incessant harassment of coconut trader and seizure of locally sourced coconut product by the Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

With the continuous harassment of the Lagos State coconut and Traders Association and seizures of their products by the Officers and other security agencies operating within Badagry and its environs, the prime mover expressed his displeasure over the incessant harassment that has affected the economic activity of the Communities.

Hon. Setonji narrated an incident that occurred on 27th October, 2019, when two (2) trucks and a pick-up vehicle loaded with 1,450 bags of locally sourced coconut were seized by the officer of the Border Drill Operations, Zone “A”, Ikeja of the service at Agbara Customs Point, after crossing the popular Agbalaka Central Coconut market, beside the Nigeria Customs Marine Base, Badagry.

The Badagry Constituency 11 representative added that this case of harassment in recent time is not limited to coconut traders but has also extended to other businesses including automobile as well as Communities; while efforts made by the Association to secure the release of the trucks with goods proved abortive.

“There are more than Ninety-Six (96) Communities within Badagry whose sole means of livelihood are in coconut, coconut products and fishing business; unless the activities and excess of these operatives are urgently checked, a lot of small and medium scale businesses would collapse with their consequences on the economy of the state.” He said.

In his contribution, Hon. Bisi Yusuff stated that it is unfortunate that such incidents still happen in the country, urging the government to encourage the public to embark on local production and not terrorize them while conducting their businesses.

Hon. Abiodun Tobun noted that most coastal areas are involved in coconut cultivation and distribution, while advising the Customs to engage themselves on how to improve on the activities and generate more revenues for the Government rather than manhandling the citizens

In the same vein, Hon. Okanlawon Sanni, explained that the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) was established to stimulate and regulate economic activities in order to bring growth to the business.

He also opined that the current activities of the Customs in Badagry do not encourage diversification and are contrary to the objectives of which the LASCODA was founded on.

In conclusion, Hon. S.O.B Agunbiade stated that there was need to confirm if the seized goods were actually auctioned and the motives behind it, when it is not the duty of the Customs to confiscate indigenous local goods.

In his ruling, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, observed that the actions of the Custom Officers do not conform to the context of the Nigeria Laws.

He therefore instructed that a letter be written to the National Assembly to direct another letter to Mr. Governor to call on the State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry to organise a Stakeholders’ Meeting with the Custom Service and the business owners affected.

On Tue, 19 Nov 2019, 8:06 PM Tomori Adeleke, <tomlek0202@gmail.com> wrote:
LAGOS LAWMAKERS CONDEMN INCESSANT HARASSMENT OF BADAGRY BUSINESS OWNERS BY NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE

Officers and men of the Nigerian customs service have been condemned by the Lagos State House of Assembly over unwholesome activities of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) towards coconut traders and other business owners in the State.

The service was condemned by the Lawmakers sequel to a motion moved by Hon. David Setonji who sought his colleague support to condemn the incessant harassment of coconut trader and seizure of locally sourced coconut product by the Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

With the continuous harassment of the Lagos State coconut and Traders Association and seizures of their products by the Officers and other security agencies operating within Badagry and its environs, the prime mover, expressed his displeasure over the incessant harassment that has affected the economic activity of the Communities.

Hon. Setonji narrated an incident that occurred on 27th October, 2019, when two (2) trucks and a pick-up vehicle loaded with 1,450 bags of locally sourced coconut were seized by the officer of the Border Drill Operations, Zone “A”, Ikeja of the service at Agbara Customs Point, after crossing the popular Agbalaka Central Coconut market, beside the Nigeria Customs Marine Base, Badagry.

The Badagry Constituency 11 representative added that this case of harassment in recent time is not limited to coconut traders but has also extended to other businesses including automobile as well as Communities; while efforts made by the Association to secure the release of the trucks with goods prove abortive.

“There are more than Ninety-Six (96) Communities within Badagry whose sole means of livelihood in coconut, coconut products and fishing business; unless the activities and excess of these operatives are urgently checked, a lot of small and medium scale businesses would collapse with their consequences on the economy of the State.” He said.

In his contribution, Hon. Bisi Yusuff, stated that it is unfortunate that such incidents still happen in the Country, urging the government to encourage the public to embark on local production and not terrorise them while conducting their businesses.

Hon. Abiodun Tobun, noted that most coastal areas are involved in Coconut cultivation and distribution, while advising the Customs to engage themselves on how to improve on the activities and generate more revenues for the Government rather than manhandling the citizens

In the same vein, Hon. Okanlawon Sanni, explain that the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) was established to stimulate and regulate economic activities in order to bring growth to the business.

He also opined that the current activities of the Customs in Badagry does not encourage diversification and is contrary to the objectives of which the LASCODA was founded on.

Conclusively, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade stated that there is need to confirm if the seized goods were actually auctioned and the motives behind it, when it is not the duty of the Customs to confiscate indigenous local goods.

In his ruling, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, observed that the actions of the Custom Officers do not conform to the context of the Nigeria Laws.

He therefore instruct that a letter be written to the National Assembly to direct a letter to Mr. Governor to call on the State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry to organise a Stakeholders’ Meeting with the Custom Service and the business owners affected.

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