MMS Plus presents the scorecard of transport sector agencies based on their performance in the first quarter of 2018 with regards to their core functions. In this week’s appraisal we x-ray the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Council for the Regulations of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN)
For the grading system: A =90-100%, B+ = 80-89%, B =70-79%, C+ =60-69%, C =50-59%, D =40-49% and E = 30-39%, F = 0-30%. Enjoy it:
Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)
Nigeria Customs Service is one of the most prioritized government institutions when it comes to the issue of revenue generation but it also has the crucial role to facilitate trade, among other duties. For this rating, we would score the agency based on its performance of four (4) statutory functions:
• Collection of Revenue (Import /Excise Duties & other Taxes /Levies) and Accounting for Same:
NCS has continued its impressive revenue generation drives in the first quarter of 2019. Although the Service is yet to release the cumulative revenue generated from January to March this year; most Commands have been able to hit their targets in the first three months.
Score = 15/25
• Anti-Smuggling Activities:
In the period under review, NCS recorded massive seizures as several thousands of bags of rice, exotic vehicles, hard drugs such as tramadol, among others have been seized. However, despite these successes, it has been reportedly observed that Customs officers at the ports and border stations aid sharp practices and in turn alert their colleagues at other commands, most especially FOU to intercept the same consignments.
Some overzealous Customs officers have also been fanning the flames of smuggling at the borders with smugglers already aware of their Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and ‘settlement’ or duty for smuggled goods.
Recall our investigative story on a group corrupt Customs patrol team led by F.M. BACHA at the Seme border post, “How Customs Aids Smuggling At Nigerian Border Posts”.
The much-touted anti-smuggling war of Customs has also been described as a scam allegedly contrived and sustained over the years to enrich certain persons within and outside the Service, as the nation suffers terribly from revenue leakages and security threats from the unfettered importation and exportation of approved trade and prohibited items. A freight forwarding veteran, Mr. Godfrey Chukwuemeka Nwosu, stated unequivocally in Lagos last month.
Score = 7/25
• Trade Facilitation/ Engaging in Research, Planning and Enforcement of Fiscal Policies of Government:
Trade cannot be said to be properly facilitated within the period under review mainly as a result of the absence of scanners which led to the burden of physical examination. The status quo remains the same in terms of operations despite the deployment of NICIS II. For one week in March, the Direct Trader Input server of the Customs nationwide was inaccessible leaving freight forwarders with colossal fiscal burdens
• Working In Collaboration With Other Government Agencies In All Approved Ports and Border Stations:
Customs’ inter-agency collaboration with sister agencies such as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, the Nigerian Army in ensuring compliance, anti-smuggling and other forms of crime combats which includes illegal commercial activities and illicit trade acts is acknowledged.
The performance of the Customs in 2019 has been fair. While the aspects of revenue generation has been impressive, the recent anti-smuggling moves have been described as a scam as Customs officers connive with the importers and agents to encourage smuggling, only to inform other units of the illicit consignments.
Total Score 33/100
Grade = E (33%)
Council for the Regulations of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN)
CRFFN was established to address the complexities and global demands in the import and export business as it relates to freight forwarders and clearing agents. The agency is saddled with the responsibility of regulating and controlling the practice of freight forwarding, ensuring optimum standards and professional conduct of practitioners.
However, CRFFN’s performance in the first quarter would be assessed based on five identified statutory functions below with each function carrying 20 marks.
Accrediting, regulating and controlling associations of freight forwarders to ensure professionalism in the industry:
Since the inauguration of the Governing Council took place in the last quarter of 2018, it was expected that in the first quarter of 2019, CRFFN would make strides in accrediting, regulating and controlling associations of freight forwarders to ensure professionalism in the industry but nothing of such has happened.
Score = 3/20
To determine who constitute freight forwarders and to regulate and control the activities of registered practitioners:
While the number of registered freight forwarders continues to increase, a large chunk of freight forwarding practitioners still don’t have CRFFN certification, hence the difficulties in regulating their activities.
Score = 5/20
Ensuring uniform standards of professional conduct and education relevant to freight forwarding practice:
In the period under review, CRFFN made no effort to enlighten practitioners on the global best practices in the profession.
Score = 0/20
Encourage participation in international exchange programme and promoting the highest competence, practice and conduct among members:
There was no event or programme so far to promote the objectives above.
Score = 2/20
Establishment and maintenance of registers of persons entitled to practice as registered freight forwarders and the publication from time to time of the list of such persons:
CRFFN should be prompt in publishing updated registers to keep the importers, exporters and the general public abreast of qualified persons to consult for freight forwarding practice. There isn’t proper digital record keeping for the registered freight forwarders in CRFFN. However, the Governing Council has expressed readiness to solve this problem.
Score = 8/20.
There is no problem in being optimistic and expecting things to transform positively at CRFFN. However, the challenge is that the new CRFFN Governing Council members have been accused of been more keen to share monies that to address the issues facing the body.
Total Score = 18/100
Grade F (18%)
Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria
Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is a service organization statutorily charged to manage all Commercial Airports in Nigeria and provide service to both passenger and cargo airlines. Generally, to create conditions for the development in the most economic and efficient manner of air transport and the services connected with it.
FAAN’s core functions are divided into five and each carries 20 points.
Develop, provide and maintain airports facilities
The function of FAAN is within the commercial airports in Nigeria, and the agency works to effectively manage the airport as well as provide adequate services to passengers and airlines. It also develops facilities in the commercial airports within the country to ensure safety of economic and expeditious operations of air transport within the country. For effective security at all airports, FAAN provides adequate facilities and personnel needed.
Owners of abandoned aircraft parked at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, were also directed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to remove the aircraft from the aprons of the airport in order to create space for other serviceable and functional aircraft and to avoid safety issues that could arise from congestion.
In a bid to reduce traffic at the MMIA, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria also disclosed plans to decongest the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos in order help to put the new terminals in Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to maximum use.
Two weeks ago, there was a sudden fire breakout at the arrival section of the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport in Owerri, Imo State. Investigations reveal that the fire department of the airport did not react swiftly to the situation as it took quite a long time to put out the fire. Thus, the agency did not do well as they did not provide the necessary equipments and fire fighters needed to address the situation.
Although the agency said that it is going through some processes that would eventually lead to the approval of its Aviation Security (AVSEC) to bear arms in 2019, we are still yet to see any development on the issue.
Collects charges for the services rendered to airlines and passengers.
FAAN is one of the top revenue generators of the Nigerian government and it makes a considerable amount of revenue annually. It also charges airports for the services they render. For each service provided to airlines and passengers, a particular amount is attached to it and is collected by the agency.
However, some airports have refused to pay these charges over the years. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) recently issued a notice to private and state-owned airports in Nigeria to settle their debts or be shut on May 1.
The agency threatened to withdraw both aviation security and firefighting personnel from some airports and these services are safety critical without which no airport can process flights.
The indebted airports include the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2, Lagos operated by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, as well as Gombe, Kebbi and Bebi airports.
FAAN had claimed that the MMA2 was indebted to it to the tune of N3.9bn since it began operations on September 8, 2007.
This shows that the agency has not been doing its job as regards the collection of dues at the airports which has led to the accumulation of debts.
Provides accommodation and quality facilities for effective and efficient handling of passengers.
FAAN provides decent accommodation for passengers within the commercial airports across the country. The agency also ensures that modern and quality airports facilities are installed. This will allow for efficient and effective handling of passengers and freight in the Nigerian airports.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria assured passengers of free trolley and wheel chair services at the new terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Henrietta Yakubu, General Manager, FAAN Corporate Affairs, noted that this development would cater for increased activities as more airlines relocate flight operations to the new terminal.
She also disclosed that a total of 1,000 trolleys were being expected to add to the existing number on ground.
Unlike the normal practice of paying use trolley in Lagos and Abuja airports, passengers have began to enjoy comfort at the new terminal.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, also celebrated passengers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on 2019 Valentine’s Day.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Mr. Saleh Dunoma, who was at the NAIA, presented rose flowers to some passengers as a sign of appreciation to the flying public. Dunoma was assisted by a popular Abuja-based comedian, Mr. Israel Chuks, popularly known as Chuks D General, who treated passengers to funny reception at the airport.
The agency is indeed committed to ensuring that air travelers are given utmost respect and comfort.
Develops and provides surface transportation facilities in airports
At the airports, passengers are to first access surface transportation before air transportation. In fact, to land airlines, surface transportation in necessary and important, as no aircraft lands without the surface transportation infrastructure readily available.
Therefore, it is the function of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to see to it that, these facilities are developed across Nigerian commercial airports. This must go beyond development of airports facilities, to even making sure that these facilities are used in the provision of services to the airlines and passengers. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria does not only developed and provided these facilities, the authority also ensure that these facilities are maintained
No activity was recorded in this area.
Carries out economic operations that are relevant to airports
The sole responsibility of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria is the management of the Nigerian commercial airports. FAAN has the task of carrying out at airports (either by itself or by an agent or in partnership with any other person) such economic activities as are relevant to air transport
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) created a committee to map out plans to boost revenue generation from non-aeronautical sources.
It stressed the need to diversify revenue generation sources away from aeronautic to non-aeronautic. The committee consists of relevant directorates and departments responsible for revenue generation for FAAN that will come out with a roadmap to enhance revenues for the agency. However, there have not been any activity carried out by the agency in the fulfilment of the plan asides the creation of a committee.
FAAN has started 2019 brightly with more focus on the well being of passengers .Although the agency has not performed well in the provision of facilities needed at the airport. The agency needs to focus on airport infrastructure and we hope that this would be achieved in the forth coming quarter.
Total Score= 30/100
Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology
Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology (NITT) is charged with the responsibility of providing professional training for middle cadre managers on the areas of transport and logistics and also conducts research and offer consultancy services to both public and private transport and logistics organizations.
The institute’s functions are as follows and each function will be given 20 points.
Serve as a Transport Intelligence Centre for monitoring transport and logistics systems
During the time under review, the agency did not record any activity in this area. Although the institute established an Intelligence Transport System (ITS) unit in Vienna, Austria to trace the movement of stolen vehicles from Nigeria in 2016.
Provide equipment and facilities for the encouragement, promotion and conduct of applied research in all modes of transport.
There was no tangible information in this regards in the first quarter of 2019.
Provision of courses and training programs for senior and middle cadre managers, technicians and technologies suited for employment in all modes of transport.
There hasn’t been any notable activity this year to promote the objectives above.
Provision of courses of instruction leading to the award of Advanced Certificate in Transport Studies (ACTS) and Post Graduate Diploma in Transport (PDG) with three distinct specialized areas: Transport Management, Transport Planning and Transport Technology;
NITT did not provide any courses that will lead to the award of these certificates in this quarter.
Carrying out research and consultant services to both government and private organizations in Nigeria and West African sub-region; and Publication of research activities through journals and other media
No research was conducted from our investigation.
NITT is an agency saddled with the arduous task of professionalizing all cadres of players in the nations transport sector but there is no indication that the agency is fulfilling this mandate. The institute seems to be retrogressing day-by-day. We advise that the agency would put in more efforts in ensuring that its objectives are achieved.