As part of efforts to enforce trade rules on freight forwarders practising at the Eastern ports and curb delays in the clearance and release of cargoes from the ports, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) 100% Compliance Team, South East Zone has been inaugurated in Port Harcourt – Rivers State.
This development is in fulfillment of the promises during the formal inauguration of the Team at its National Headquarters in Apapa, Lagos State, in 2020, where the Founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam harped on the need for freight forwarders to comply strictly to the rules governing International trade by being honest in their declarations and payment of approved Customs and excise duties.
Dr. Aniebonam stated that it had become necessary to join efforts with the government to sanitize the industry, as well as increase revenue generation of government through Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), in addition to reducing seizures of cargoes by Customs Strike Force, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), among others.
Speaking at the occasion which attracted the presence of Heads of key government agencies in Port Harcourt, the National Coordinator, NAGAFF 100 % Compliance Team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko warned his members against sureting criminals at police stations and at the Enforcement units of Customs, stressing that they will not be party to any Importer who violated the extant rules.
”We have an understanding with the Importers Association. We have signed and agreed with each other that the Compliance Team will not intervene in matters concerning any importer who defaulted,” he said.
Alhaji Tanko expressed satisfaction with the large turn out of people at the inauguration ceremony including government agencies at the ports, remarked that it is a sign of acceptance by government, saying that the issue of compliance started with government agencies
However, he advised the newly inaugurated members to desist from involving themselves in any act that would jeopardize their businesses nor tarnish the image of the Compliance Team, while urging freight forwarders to always insist on importers using their names to shift their consignment inorder to avert the consequences.
In his speech the Customs Area Command, Port Harcourt, Garuba Y.M described NAGAFF as partner in progress with Customs, a major stakeholder and a key player in ports administration, adding that the association’s role in Customs revenue generation cannot be over-emphasised.
Garuba who was represented by DC Nwobi Albert, pointed out that Customs revenue generation is based on declaration, stressing the need for honest declaration to avoid loss of revenue and seizures, while commending NAGAFF on the initiation.