By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) has said that there is now an existing understanding between the association and the Nigeria Customs Service, adding that Customs no longer impound or auction trucks.
Chairman of AMATO, Chief Remi Ogungbemi stated this in Lagos last week, even as he commended the founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr Boniface Aniebonam, saying that his intervention led to this agreement with customs.
Over the years, Chief Ogungbemi and his members who are truck owners had lamented indiscriminate seizure of their trucks and sometimes auctioning same by officers of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone ‘A’ of the Nigeria Customs Service in Ikeja Lagos.
Chief Ogungbemi had argued that truck drivers are not privy to the content of the containers they are often contracted to transport, hence they should not be held liable for an offence that is clearly the fault of the importer.
The AMARTO chairman described the action of the customs as a “miscarriage of justice”
He said truck owners are suffering miscarriage of justice as a result of dishonesty on the side of some unscrupulous importers and exporters who fails to declare honestly what they are bringing in or taking out of the country.
Speaking last week at a function to install the 6th annointed NAGAFF President in Lagos, Chief Ogungbemi stated that “When a cargo is seized, it is seized along with the means of conveyance, many truckers have lost their trucks to this singular policy”
“But by the special grace of God, and with the support of Dr Boniface Aniebonam, today I can confirm to you that the customs are no longer confiscating and auctioning our trucks”
“Nobody reckons with a failure, and because the NAGAFF founder stated is an achiever, that is why we have decided to relate with him”