By DAPO OLAWUNI
The 100% Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has said that 80% of Nigerian freight forwarders are hypertensive and are being frustrated by the cargo clearance process at the port.
Deputy President of NAGAFF and National Cordinator of the Compliance Team, Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim stated this on Monday while speaking with journalists.
According to him, freight forwarders accept clearance jobs from their importers on the basis of “said to contain” but whenever the containers are found wanting, freight forwarders are held liable for the sins of the importer.
He canvassed for indemnity of Nigerian freight forwarders, even as he warned them to stop using their company names to ship cargoes on behalf of importers.
Tanko equally accused officers of Nigeria Customs Service of hijacking clearing jobs from freight forwarders and taking over their clients. According to him, majority of officers of Nigeria Customs are freight forwarders in uniforms.
Tanko however assured that the compliance team is set to expose all corrupt officers engaging in cargo clearance. Most times, he said the act is being perpetrated by the officers through the use of messengers called “camp boys” who relay entries and Bill of Laden for the officers.
While unveiling a 10-point agenda of the Compliance Team to be accomplished in the next six months, Tanko however promised to assist the Nigerian Customs achieve its revenue objective; educate freight forwarders on the need to play by the rules; impress on importers on the need for honest declaration; expose corrupt practices in the system.
He said the team would “Assist regulatory agencies such as SON, NAFDAC to maintain standards in products; to protect the interest of freight forwarders in disputes; to hold government agencies accountable for infractions; to be the voice of freight forwarders in the industry and to dispel the fear of the unknown of the road in cargo delivery”
Tanko said achieving the 10-point agenda has become necessary for the best interest of the freight forwarders who according to him have continued to suffer under trade malpractices.