Business Hilights

Tracking Nigeria's Headline Business News Online


Clearing Agent Group, NAGAFF writes IGP over extortionist Maritime Police teams

Ad 2
Ad 3

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has written to the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, accusing maritime police of illegal operation, arrest, and detention of containers in and around Lagos Ports.

In a letter on Wednesday, dated August 22nd, signed by the National Coordinator, 100% Compliance Team of NAGAFF, Ibrahim Tanko, the group threatened that if nothing urgent was done, the group would shut down the ports.

Tanko in the letter titled, ‘Petition against the maritime police for illegal operations, sending of alerts to shipping companies, blocking of consignments, arrest and detention of containers in and around the Lagos ports,’ said that the situation was causing restiveness in the ports area.

He said, “We therefore, respectfully urge you to call the maritime police to order and save the ports from an imminent restiveness that may paralyse business activities and further cause economic loss to government revenue. We may have no option but to go on the protest which may result in a possible shutdown of the seaports.”

The aggrieved freight forwarders said the officers did not only block the release of containers from shipping companies, but also arrested and detained containers on the road.

It said, “Since this new administration, the officers and men of the Maritime Police have not only resumed these activities but also even more daring. They do not only block the release of containers from shipping companies, but they also arrest and detain containers on the roads, and even allegedly go into fisticuffs with the officers of the Federal Operations Unit of the Nigerian Customs Service”

He added that the NCS, in collaboration with other agencies like the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, arrested containers carrying different contraband including arms and drugs without the help of the police.

In the letter, he said, “This shows that the NCS and other government agencies are working in harmony. But we have not heard or witnessed any of the above-mentioned arrests made by the maritime police.”

He accused the maritime police of frustrating the ease of doing business in the ports by arresting containers belonging to freight forwarders on the roads, directing them to offices where allegedly huge sums of money are extorted from them.

According to him, “We are taken aback that our members who endeavor to do the right thing are being punished with unnecessary interference, intimidation, and needless arrest and detention. The maritime police usually demand documents that have nothing to do with their mandate. Most freight forwarders have been taken out of business and some die in health-related challenges as a result of these excruciating activities of the maritime police.”

Business Hilights is an online news channel conceptualized and structured to report and track on a daily basis; latest developments in critical business sectors to serve as a one stop news gateway for governments, foreign and indigenous investors.