The International Freight Forwarders Association has lamented the continuous frustration being experienced by freight forwarders in Nigeria as a result of what it calls Customs operations at the Tin Can Island port.
The Chairman of the association, Tin Can Island Chapter, Mr. Ojo Akintoye, said that men of the Customs’ Federal Operating Unit constantly hindered the operations of the association by coming around the ports at random to pick up containers that had been thoroughly examined by Customs.
Akintoye gave this indication during the inauguration of the chapter’s executive council in Lagos.
He said, “The Customs FOU came around last week to pick up a container. We are planning to visit the FOU to have a better understanding about the mode of their operations around the Tin Can Island. We believe if a container is leaving the port, it has been duly checked and cleared. We will not hinder their operations to safeguard national health and security, but we will resist arrest of any of our members that go about their duties legitimately.
“What we are telling the Nigerian Customs is that we do not want to believe that all containers are subjected to sighting at the gate. If all containers are subjected to testing at the gate, what is the essence of examination?”
He added however that the association had noticed an improvement and a reduction in the gate testing in recent times, expressing confidence that as more importers complied with the Customs directives, the tests would be completely eliminated.”
According to Akintoye, members of the association have also expressed their commitment to its objective, which is acting as good role models in the marine trade business and complying with the rules of international trade.
“There is a need for us to co-opt people we know that have the capacity to assist us in our various terminals under our jurisdiction. Since we commenced our activities and our operations in Tin Can Island, people have been willing to work with us. We have over 200 members working with us presently,” he added.
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