NAGAFF has urged the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), terminal operators and shipping companies to adhere to the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Act.
NAGAFF quoted the section of the Act in Section 28 (2) which stipulates that “no person, not being registered in accordance with the Act, shall be entitled to hold any appointment, or be granted a license by any establishment in the public service of the Federation or of a state or in any public or private establishment, body or institution, if the holding of such appointment or the grant of such licence involves the performance by him in Nigeria of any act pertaining to the profession of freight forwarding for gain”“We do hope that strategic Government Agencies and private operators like Nigeria Customs, NPA, NIMASA, SON, NAFDAC and APMT, PTML, Shipping Companies respectively should take note to avoid legal actions if they breach this law”, NAGAFF said.
The Association also emphasized that no person or corporate or association whether licensed or registered by government or private operators whose name is not in the register of freight forwarders of Nigeria be so recognized or authorized to practice freight forwarding profession in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, NAGAFF has thrown its weight behind the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and Port Services Support Portal (PSSP) describing the projects as crucial to ensuring standardization in the way port operations are carried out in Nigerian Ports as several people just find their ways into the ports under different guises and begin to extort money from port users.
NAGAFF commended the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which contributed massively to the success of the initiative as they carried out a corruption risk assessment research in six major ports (Apapa, TinCan, Port Harcourt, Onne, Calabar and Warri).
NAGAFF also appreciated the efforts of other organizations which played significant roles in developing the SOP and PSSP initiatives, such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), responsible exclusively for enforcement, the Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-Corruption Reforms (TUGAR) and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), among others.
However, the association lamented that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) promptly declares and flaunts its official revenue in different ways to portray itself as a noble, professional paramilitary organization, while the unofficial revenue targets are for their personal purses.
In another press release, NAGAFF has opposed with the recently introduced policy of the PTML terminal which makes it mandatory for Customs licensed companies to present seven representatives with a payment of N10,000 (Ten Thousand Naira Only) per person in order to be allowed into the terminal.
The association stated that all a freight forwarder requires was the CRFFN Identification Card which authenticates his/her membership of the CRFFN as a regulatory Agency of Government with regard to freight forwarding profession in Nigeria.
“Those who own Customs licences are first and foremost freight forwarders and are only confined to the Customs formality segment of the logistic supply chain. For the avoidance of doubt Sir kindly refer to Section 19 (1) (2) and Section 28 of the CRFFN Act (Copy attached for ease of reference)” NAGAFF said.