Following a recent media report which stated that the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) was in support of 100% physical examination of transit cargoes at seaports
The Chairman, Research and International Liaison Committee of the CRFFN Governing Council, Chief Increase Uche dismissed the report which quoted him as saying the CRFFN supports 100% physical examination of transit cargoes destined to Kaduna Inland Dry Port, describing the report as a misrepresentation his statements.
Uche who made the clarification during a chat with newsmen in Lagos this week, explained; “What I said on that day was that 100% physical examination on transit cargoes at the port is a misnomer but what is obtainable globally is once a vessel is offloading goods or containers at the port, that what is obtainable is pre scanning of those containers where scanners are available and that is the more reason scanners should be made available. That any attempt at conducting one hundred percent physical examination is a misnomer.
“What I have said here is that I was quoted out of context and this meeting now is to correct the misconception that the wrong reportage created. We will continue to support the establishment of ICDs in Nigeria because we know their importance to port operation. We cannot support any illegality like 100% physical examination of even containers at the ports here because we need scanners to ease off the flow of cargoes. Electronic examination of cargo is the standard practice that is in operation globally. So, I wouldn’t want any reporter to tarnish the existing relationship between either CRFFN, NAGAFF as an organization or my personal self with anybody.”
Uche who is also the National President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) expressed displeasure that following the outcome of his discussions with newsmen earlier in and subsequent misrepresentation, the management of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and other stakeholders have queried the statements while Customs also published a circular to stop such practices.
“I believe that misrepresented story prompted the Customs to write a letter dissociating itself from 100% physical examination of transit cargoes at the seaports. There is a circular to that effect now issued on the 8th of November, 2019 from Customs Headquarters directing that performance of physical examination on containers destined for bonded terminals including ICDs should no longer be allowed, that such containers are to be allowed to get to their destination before examination is done”, he said.
He further refuted claims in the report where he was quoted as saying that the Kaduna ICD was not yet approved as port of final destination pointing out that President Muhammadu Buhari had already commissioned it as a port of destination and that cargoes had been going there.
“I wouldn’t subscribe to the mischief of the reporter who wrote that very comment. The aspect of saying that Kaduna ICD has not gotten approval is a misrepresentation. That is part of the misrepresentation of my views. Equally, that very reporter also quoted me as saying that freight forwarders are impersonators. I didn’t say so. I said licensed customs agents who call themselves brokers are impersonating as there is no law establishing customs brokerage in Nigeria as at today. That those who call themselves customs brokers are brokers by labeling, that they don’t have the attributes of customs brokers because we know the qualities of persons who are supposed to be customs brokers which they don’t have because there is a laid down prerequisite qualifications that one needs to attain before you are certified as customs broker”, he remarked