Custom Officers Allegedly Assist Freight Forwarders Escape Wharf Landing Fee Payments

…We Don’t Collect Wharf Landing At Seaport—Spokesman

By DAPO OLAWUNI

The Lagos Stste Wharf Landing Fees Collecting Authority (LSWLFCA) have accused men of Nigeria Customs Service as well as other security agencies of aiding freight forwarders in avoiding payments of the wharf landing fee.

The agency has equally debunked insinuations in the media that its officials were collecting the wharf landing fee inside the port, and without receipt.

According to the Public Relations Officer of the agency, Mr Michael Opiteh, wharf landing fee is collected at designated points outside the port, after the cargo must have left.

Statutorily N200 is paid for cars and N500 for SUVs, collectable from agents and their principals.

Mr Opiteh in an exclusive chat with DAILY TREND NEWS on Thursday however alleged that Customs Officers most of the time help freight forwarders to drive already cleared vehicles from the port, so that they can escape payment of N200 wharf landing fee.

Opiteh said this act is equally being perpetrated by Military Officers, including Army Captains.

While narrating a recent confrontation with a Customs officer which steered controversy among freight forwarders, he said “The incident was caused by a Customs officer who insisted that we was not going to pay and he drove away”

“When he got to Area B police barracks, he was intercepted by our task force officers and we impounded the vehicle, a Toyota Corolla”

“The driver told our officials that he is a Customs officer and therefore he would not pay a dime”

“He later brought One Chukwudi Nwakwo who claim to be a freight forwarder, he came begging for us to release the vehicle, and that it belongs to his brother”

“The officer was not in uniform, after bringing Chukwudi to beg, he also went to bring NAGAFF Secretary General who said he is the secretary nationwide, but I told him that I do not have power to release the car except my chairman”

“The vehicle, a Toyota corolla is still in would custody right now, the car was impounded last week” he said

Opiteh noted that before leave the port, they must have paid customs duty, but wondered why Customs officials help freight forwarders in avoiding payment of N300.

Continuing he said “We don’t collect this fee at the seaport as erroneously reported in one of the media”

“Most of the freight forwarders, because they dont want to pay N300 for cars, and N500 for jeeps they would go and hire uniformed men to ride their car.
I saw a captain driving a cleared car from the port to avoid paying” he said.

Meanwhile, the authority has placed a penalty of N100, 000.00 for individual offenders trying to cheat the government, while corporate offenders pay N500, 000.00.

1 thought on “Custom Officers Allegedly Assist Freight Forwarders Escape Wharf Landing Fee Payments

  1. The silence of most critical stakeholders in the maritime industry could be as a result nonchalance considering the small amount involved without looking at a bigger picture and the criminality in the state law or probably some of them connived due to selfish reasons to get a cut from the lump sum fraudulently collected by the state government. Interestingly the amount per vehicle multiply by total sum collected so far from container trucks is over N450 billion without any impacts within the corridors. I am more concerned with the silence of stakeholders since I started this condemnation and often think that most of them do not even no the impacts of this encroachment within our corridors hence, their silence or they are waiting for the local government to start their wharf landing collections immediately the LGA autonomy is signed to law before realizing the havoc that has been done to our industry. The maritime operators should have asked why is similar Illegal charges are not allowed be collected at the aviation sector which is also a gateway for imports and exports? My only hope is that a day would come when we would have well informed critical maritime stakeholders that would not only protect their incomes but also the industry that can only guarantee continuous income if jealously protected.

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