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Customs urgently need redemption

Anti-corruption czar, Itse Sagay, voiced the concern of ordinary Nigerians and the business community recently when he bemoaned the rot in the Nigerian Customs Service. His complaint of rampant bribery at the ports of entry tallied with earlier reports from other sources that suggest a service resistant to reform. As the country’s second major source of revenue, however, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, should produce tangible results or make way for a change agent.

Lurid tales of endemic corruption and the flooding of the Nigerian market with fake, substandard and prohibited goods are commonplace. But Sagay, as Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, by adding his voice to this national shame, has put President Muhammadu Buhari and the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, on the spot. They should quickly look into the activities of this important agency to save the economy and the lives of Nigerians. Smuggling is thriving and government is losing billions of naira through duty evasion. Entire domestic sectors are under threat.

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