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Alleged corruption: NCS suspends GTBank from import duty collection at ports

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The Nigeria Customs Service has reportedly suspended Guaranty Trust Bank Limited (GTBank)  from collection of duties on imported cargoes at Nigerian ports following an order from the National Assembly.

It was gathered that the development led to tons of cargoes being trapped at the port since Monday because freight forwarders could not complete the process of clearing their goods from the port.

Confirming the development, National Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Customs Service, Deputy Comptroller Mr. Timi Bomodi said the bank was on temporary suspension on orders of the National Assembly.

Demurrages have started accruing on some cargoes that have already made payments through the GTB Bank.

Reacting to the development, the President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agencts, NCMDLCA, Mr. Lucky Amiwero disclosed that it is only the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Nigerian Customs Service through the Ministry of Finance that suspended an import duty collecting Bank.

Amiwero also said that the National Assembly by virtue of its oversight function can also suspend a Bank if the Bank is found to be involved in any form of corrupt or sharp practice.

“The people who are supposed to suspend them is the Central Bank of Nigeria going by the law but because of the oversight of the National Assembly, they have a right to do that if the Bank is found to be involved in any corrupt practice” Amiwero disclosed.

Similarly, Taskforce Chairman of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Tin Can Port Chapter, Alhaji Rilwan Amuni lamented that there was no official notice or circular from customs to warn the agents from making payments through the suspended bank.

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