Service Failure: NAGAFF, ANLCA Reach Boiling Point

 Service Failure: NAGAFF, ANLCA Reach Boiling PointThere are few things that can make the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) and the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) but their common problem which is the massive extortion from them at the various ports as well as the nation’s borders.

Both associations are the two main freight forwarding groups in Nigeria and they have shielded their differences to fight the exploitation which they have said they would no longer tolerate.

In a joint statement to the authorities of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), NAGAFF and ANLCA stated that there is an ongoing agitation by the practicing Freight Forwarders and Licensed Customs Agents and their members are been pressured to withdraw services from the Nigerian ports and border stations.

“The Freight Forwarders and Licensed Customs Agents are seriously complaining of high level corruption in the various ports and border stations occasioned by agents of Government impunity, high handedness and abuse of office.  The terminal operators and shipping companies are not left out in the onslaught” the report said.

Some of their complaints include but not limited to arbitrary charges of the Shipping companies and terminal operators, stoppage of containers at the Shipping companies and terminal operators desks by the Maritime Police, over taxation and frivolous Demand Notes and unguided trade alerts of the Customs.

Other complaints include; frivolous charges of Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), abuse of office, intimidation, harassment, extortion and illegal detention of Freight Agents by enforcement Units of Government Agencies in breach of Standard Operating Condition of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) and Section 154 of the Customs law.

Subsequently, NAGAFF suggested that the Hon. Ministers of Transport, Finance, Trade and Investment, Health and the IGP whose officers are detailed to the ports and border stations to course an action to find out why this level of corruption is still existing at the entry points despite the effort of the Federal Government to stem corruption in Nigeria.

This is coming fast on the heels of the proposed increased in truck haulage to begin on April 1st and this could also add to the woes of the sector.

The freight forwarding bodies made pleas to NPA, NCS and NSC to kick-start consultations with the critical stakeholders in this regard for the attention of the Hon. Ministers mentioned.

“At our end, NAGAFF and ANLCA have started consultations with a view to ensuring that Freight Forwarders and Licensed Customs Agents do not withdraw their services as first option in their agitation and complaints, pending the outcome of any intervention as may be made by Government”

The Nigerian ports are very strategic to the ailing economy at this moment, hence efforts should be put in place to prevent an ugly economic circumstances.

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