First bank gets Customs pardon


… After being blocked from duty collection, over N3bn bond  failure

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has reinstated the First Bank Plc unto the status of a Customs duty collecting  bank, following a detailed debt recovery plan the Bank entered into, with the NCS.

The bank was suspended and blocked from duty collection as a result of the failure  of two of its customers: Messrs Onome Jack Up Service Limited and  Oritsetimeyin Jack Up Service Limited to redeem a bond to the tone of  N3,641,563,481.00 secured by the Bank.

The Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Dr. Dikko Inde Abdullahi who ordered the reinstatement, said he was now satisfied with the recovery plan put in place because it involves the intervention of  the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

The CGC has subsequently urged Importers/Agents to resume duty payment transactions with the bank, even as he  warned that while the Service would continue to recognise the importance of properly  entered bonds as a tool for trade facilitation, the Customs management would never condone any form of  abuse of the process, from any individual or organization, no matter how highly placed.

The Maritime First learnt that the recovery plan assured the Customs Service of full refund.