By DAPO OLAWUNI
Even as Nigerians are getting ready to go to the polls on Saturday 25th 2023 to elect another President, Founder of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) Dr Boniface Aniebonam in a last minute push to sway undecided voters for the flag bearer of his party, Mr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has urged maritime stakeholders to vote massively for NNPP.
Speaking at a press conference in Apapa Lagos on Thursday, Aniebonam is also the founder of one of the biggest freight forwarding association in Africa; National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) called on all importers, exporters, manufacturers, government agencies to see themselves as a stakeholder in NNPP because the party has its roots from the sector.
According to Aniebonam, the multi party system in Nigeria has given everybody an opportunity to test their popularity and NNPP’s Kwankwaso is coming to transform the Nigerian ports system.
“I want you all to help NNPP, tell all the Importers, exporters, freight forwarders, manufacturers, customs officers and government agencies that NNPP has its roots from the maritime sector. The freight forwarder is the cordinating agent in the front seat, driving the project, linking the manufacturers, agencies of the government, we are the catalyst.
“Everyone of us should see ourselves as critical stakeholders, let us see NNPP as our own” he appealed
Aniebonam assured that when elected President, maritime industry players will have easy access to Kwankwaso, and that no protocol would hinder the industry from getting whatever they want.
Already, the NNPP founder said the industry has signed a social contract with the party’s flag bearer, even as he assured that in the first one year of Kwankwaso in office, the Nigeria Customs Service shall be given an autonomy and that there would be creation of a customs service commission.
Other assurances given by the NAGAFF Founder is that Kwankwaso would ensure opening of Nigeria borders for cross border trade and transportation, and ensure removal of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding
(CRFFN) from the clutches of the transportation ministry to be partial autonomous in line with the Act.
Others are; “Move CRFFN from the supervisory role of Transport Ministry to
Ministry of Trade and Industry, to enhance revenue collection and professionalism.
“Freight forwarding service under CRFFN regulation and control to go strictly professional.
“To expunge the licensing regulation and control of freight
forwarding practitioners from Customs law pending at the National Assembly.
“To take review of the Customs laws pending at the National Assembly and ensure that it’s in tune with best practices and standards in relation to international trade facilitation.
“The inherent law of waiver clause as contained in the Cabotage Law to be reviewed and make to enhance local content in its application.
“Establishment of commercial shipping and partnership with private operators: the National Maritime Authority must ensure
that Nigeria fly flags to mitigate the colossal loss of revenue inherent in freight rates
“To remove all human element barriers occasioned by intervention forces of the government and touts along the city and federal high ways.
“Seizure of trade good must Stop forthwith when presented before the Customs at the examination bay designated for Customs purpose.
“Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) to be returned to the ports and borders to join NDLEA and NAFDAC to perform their statutory duty of quality control of imported goods.
“Establishment of truck terminals in partnership with private operators to service the ports in a call-up system.
“Warri port, river port of Onitsha and other ports must be made to function with a view to decongesting Lagos ports and environs.
“The Lekki deep seaport to be linked with standard rail gauge for seamless evacuation of goods immediately to avoid the experiences in Apara and Tin Can ports etc. The concept of mutli modal transportation system cannot be overemphasized.
“Never again shall any goods imported or exported from Nigeria be seized provides it is not banned and or fake product. Customs duty and inherent penalty as surcharge shall prevail.
“The port concessioning policy and performance shall be reviewed and operators found incompetence shall be revoked. The concept of build, operate and transfer must be enforced to enable job opportunities and transfer of technology to prosper.
“The trade policy of 41 items barred from forex by CBN shall be reversed. This is because it is clashing with customs laws. As contained in Section 27, 28 and 29 of Customs and Exercise Management Act (CEMA)” he said
Aniebonam noted that NNPP was founded 21-years ago with the vision for a new Nigeria.
“What we need to do now is to move out in mass, politics is about who gets what, how, where and when, what is the interest you are protecting.
Today, we have a very credible candidate with capacity, a former minister of defense, one time Senator, Governor, deputy Speaker and on and on
“What is coming to Nigeria is a new Nigeria, that New Nigeria is with us, as we go out on Saturday, we should vote for a man that would ensure a new Nigeria” he concluded.