Freight Forwarders Commend FG’s $20m Approval For Scanners

Port Congestion: Freight Forwarders Demand Apology Following APMT Boss Indictment 
Head, Research and Policy Group, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Chief Eugene Nweke

By Kenneth Jukpor

Following the approval of $20million by the Federal Government for the acquisition of three scanning machines to be installed at Onne, Port Harcourt and Tin Can Ports, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has commended the government.

NAGAFF revealed this in a press statement signed by the Head of Policy and Research Group, Chief Eugene Nweke.

According to the association, the acquisition of three rapiscan scanning machines to be installed at three different ports will obviate the need for physical examination of goods and fast track the clearance of cargoes at the ports.

The group noted that the development was an indication that the leadership truly pays listening ears to the wishes, needs and agitation of the masses, especially the trading public and the professionals in the maritime sector.

“On behalf of the Nigeria freight forwarders, we wish to deeply express our appreciation and by extension commend the Federal Executive Council – FEC through the Honorable Minister Of Finance – HMOF for this particular port Industry strategic value drive and intervention via the approval to procure the above equipments, as was resolved in its 9th Virtual Federal Executive Council Meeting held on Wednesday 22nd, 2020 and presided over by President Mohammed Buhari in Abuja,” the report said.

The association expressed delight at assurances of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said that: “The scanners are designed to aid effective revenue collection, the features that will screen for narcotics, weapons and undeclared items, they can also dictate arms and ammunition, legal importation and possession of arms and light weapons in Nigeria”

NAGAFF also said it was encouraged with FEC resolution which posited that the expected equipments when procured will be manned and operated by the Nigeria Customs Service and not any consultant or agent.

The association lamented that over the years the Nigeria shippers had to grapple with extortions and exploitations in various degrees of administrative, operations and inspection fees or charges, including the payment of 1% inspection fee to foreign consultants.

Meanwhile, the freight forwarding group raised concerns at the non mention of Apapa port as one of the beneficiaries of the impending installation of the new scanners.

“This observation becomes worrisome because Apapa port serves as a major revenue generating point. It is also one of the larger and more strategic container ports in the sub region, in terms of cargo traffic volume and industrial activities. The non assigning of a scanner or mention of it seems to leave a window unshut encouraging antics by some operators and port users,” NAGAFF added.

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