By Okuneye Moyosola
Worried by the growing level of non-compliance among freight forwarders, the Founder, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, has enjoined freight forwarders to ensure compliance to all port regulations.
Aniebonam stated this while speaking at a press conference noting that the issue of compliance is very critical in the logistics and supply chain sector.
His words: “Right now, there is a problem at the ports which has to do with the level of compliance to port regulations. Compliance is very critical and freight forwarders need to ensure that they comply with all regulations.”
“Customs revenue target for 2020 seems to be higher than it was in 2019. It means that the Customs is going to do things differently and this calls for concern. People must try as much as possible to be honest in whatever they do as it concerns trade. If you don’t do that,you will likely have yourself to be blamed”.
He also lamented on the state of the ports, adding that not much has been to take the inflow of cargoes which has led to congestion.
“We know that the port is a gateway to the nation’s economy and if that’s the case, something urgent has to be done. Cargo handling has increased and apparently, it appears that we are not doing so much to take the inflow of cargoes. At the moment, you will agree with me that the port is stressed and it means we will continue to have the issue of congestion. The things that we thought the port concession would have solved are currently raising more ugly heads, although there has been improvement in cargo handling.”
“A trip that could cost few hours now takes 6 days. When you now return your container, the container deposit is eventually deleted and the shipping companies take the container deposit. The money is also leaving the country and we are loosing a lot of money.”
Aniebonam also thanked Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for facilitating the effectiveness of the cabotage registration.
“There is hope from what we could see from NIMASA. They are making efforts to see whether the cabotage registration can be effective. It is commendable if the government begins to look at that side”.
Speaking on the border closure, Aniebonam urged government to tidy up issues surrounding the closure as a result of public interest.
“Whatever led government to take that action, we do hope that they have been able to tidy it up. Firstly, our neighbours should be brought to a roundtable to discuss these issues. Secondly if there are any lapses that cannot allow implementation of trade policies at the border line, then let us address the issues. If the government has not concluded whatever made them to shut down the boarder, they should tidy it up for the interest of the public”.