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Don’t go on strike, FG begs NAGAFF, ANLCA as they extend ultimatum

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Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has called on the leading associations of licensed customs agents and freight forwarders to shelve their proposed withdrawal of service from the nation’s seaports and land border due to what they described as irregularities in the cargo clearing processes by the Nigeria Customs Service and related agencies of the government.

The bodies are National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGFAFF) and Association Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents

The Minister represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari made the appeal during the meeting with representatives of the two freight forwarding associations held at the Nigerian Shippers Council headquarters in Lagos.

Business Hilights had during the visit of the Comptroller General of Customs; Hameed Ali issued a 21-day ultimatum to the government to address some of the issues militating against smooth cargo clearance.

In his remarks, founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam called on the Ministry to, as a matter of urgency, organise elections into the Governing Council of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), in accordance with the Act setting it up.

But key in the grievances of the agents includes highhandedness, impunity, extortion, blocking and diversion of properly exited cargoes on the highway and unwarranted detention of their members by officers of the NCS and other agencies of the government in the ports.

In his address at the end of the meeting, Zakari urged the freight forwarders to shelve their proposed withdrawal of service as the government, saying government was prepared to address the issues.

The groups had in a joint statement highlighted some of the inefficiencies of the Nigeria Customs to include trade alerts in abuse; issuance of double PAAR and withdrawal without notice to importer; inherent abuse in the risk of managing value data for Customs purposes and absence of uniformity in the clearance of vehicles with regard to ex-factory prices

Included as their anger were writing examination reports; unauthorised agencies of the government and individuals participating during customs examination; Customs CIU officers making their presence noticed at the examination bay and reporting their findings after goods have been released leading to second examination; valuable and expensive items taken as samples without accounting for them among others.

However, as a way establishing a soft landing, both agreed to extend the ultimatum to withdraw their services from the ports so that government can resolve the matter within a given time.


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