…Says A Chairman of NAGAFF can never be upto a task force member of ANLCA
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Six months after the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) inaugurated its 100% Compliance Team, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) last week equally followed suit by setting up its own Western Zone Task Force, both teams were set up to tackle corruption within the port system.
Speaking with DAILY TREND NEWS on the sidelines of the inauguration of ANLCA Task Force last week, Public Relations Officer of Apapa Chapter of ANLCA, Mr Emeka Chukwumalu said the Western Zone Task Force was never borrowed from NAGAFF.
He said that ANLCA is the leader as far as cargo clearance is concerned at Nigerian ports and that NAGAFF members are like baby brothers.
Speaking, Chukwumalu said “A Chairman of NAGAFF can never be upto a task force member of ANLCA because our people have pedigree, we dont believe in talking, it is about action, but we also believe in live and let live, they are like junior brothers, we bring them in”
“The most important thing is to see how we can work together to ensure seemless operation within the port, so that the agencies would stop exploiting us”
“If you are not a licensed agent, you are a tout, because it is only licensed agents that collect duty for customs, and this is why we are licensed”
“As a freight forwarder you are not a licensed customs agent, you can only move cargoes from one border to another, but we are the main people that are here to do the main thing, proper declaration is what our members are doing, and you know that customs is all about revenue generation, we go through sun and rainfall to ensure customs generate revenue”
“We are not copycats or doing something because NAGAFF did it, we do things as at when due, it is true NAGAFF set up compliant team, but have they stopped the many ills in the maritime industry? The answer is No, but now that ANLCA is coming onboard, watch what would happen, talking is cheap, but action speaks” he said
Chukwumalu also said that with the menace of traffic gridlock on the roads, there is no way any terminal can stop barge operations.
He was reacting to reports that barge operations were recently suspended at one of the terminals in Apapa port; ENL Terminal
He lamented that so many containers that have been nominated for transfer to bonded terminals are still trapped at Apapa port two months later.
The ANLCA PRO said “Barge is the only rescue we are having right now, without the barges picking containers from one end of the bonded terminal to the other, we cannot achieve what we are doing today”
“Without barges, there is no way you can evacuate cargoes from the port, Apapa Ilis already congested, as I am talking to you now, many containers have been nominated to bonded terminals, but more than two months now, they have not been evacuated to the bonded terminals”
“You can see so many agitation at the bonded terminals, both at Denca, Clarion, at the end of the day, the importers suffer and they transfer it to the final consumers” he said