ANLCA On Collision Course with Apapa Customs Over Releasing of Containers

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ANLCA logo

…As Olabanji Warn Airport Practitioners to Resist CRFFN Incursion

By DAPO OLAWUNI

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has expressed recent frustrations being experienced by her members at the releasing department of the Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service, saying that officers transfered to the department are deliberately frustrating the ease of doing business at the port.

ANLCA Chairman at Lillypond Export Command, Femi Olabanji

Chairman of ANLCA Tin Can 2, Mr Femi Olabanji who raised the alarm, urged the Customs Area Controller of Apapa Customs, Compt Jide Jaiyeoba to raise an investigative team and look into the challenges.

According to him, “If you go to the Apapa scanning section, if you scan your container, there is no alert. Your scanning is okay.
But when you get to the releasing section, they will check it and ask you to go and reposition it again for scanning or for physical examination.

“It takes four or five days to reposition the container again. It’s not something you can just go there and say, please reposition, you have to pay.
All these things are affecting the cost of doing business, if an officer does not know the job, they are not supposed to be put into such position.

“At the Apapa releasing section, I am begging the CAC to look into this challenges, you can call other agents and investigate what I am saying. The system is not going right.

“This is not the first DC we are having at the releasing department, but the woman we are having there now, I am not saying she doesn’t know the job, she knows the job, but she should try to know what she’s doing. The people she put behind to look at documents, they are not helping her at all.

“The releasing office is like a market everyday, and everybody is crying, they want to send every job back to valuation. When they send it back to valuation, valuation will tell you that they are not requesting for your document. They know your document is within the range. But before you get out of there, it will take 10 days and you are paying demurrages of N60,000 everyday to terminal operators”

“Let the Area Controller send an investigation team to that place and see what i am saying, what we are facing at that department is not easy” he lamented

Olabanji commended the Comptroller General of Customs, Wale Adeniyi for innovations in the service. He however noted that the officers on the field are frustrating the good works of the CGC.

“All these things the customs CG has done, he is encouraging the importers to move faster, the officers on the field, they are not encouraging anybody to move faster.
To me, I would say they are looking at their own selfish interest”

On the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) the ANLCA Chairman urged Airport chapter of the association to resist the Incursion of the Council into the airport to collect Practitioners Operating Fee (POF)

Olabanji said there was need to invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to investigate the monies so far collected by the CRFFN over the years.

Speaking, he said “I remember what our former President of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu Shitu said. He said when he is out of office, it is then we will see what he has been protecting us from. I was there that day, and he said CRFFN are not going to do anything, and truly today, they are not doing anything.

“We are custom brokers, we have already been licensed by customs, we are not supposed to be on a CRFFN line at all. Because when you look at it, what have they done? Our former Board Chairman, Henry Njoku was in CRFFN as Vice Chairman for several years, our former Acting President, Kayode Farinto was there for several years, they have never for one day come put to tell us this is the benefit of being on the Council. Personally, my company alone have paid more than 10million to CRFFN

“We would not pay this money again because they are not helping us, they are killing the importers.
What have CRFFN done since they have come into place? we are having problem with terminal operators and shipping companies, we have never seen CRFFN intervention, they cannot regulate anything, they are just collecting this money.

“I want the EFCC and the ICPC to come in and let us know what they have been using this money for.

“I am also begging the clearing agents at the airport not to
allow the CRFFN to enter airport to collect any money, the agents should stand firm” he said

In its reaction, the Apapa Customs Command has said that containers that have passed through scanners successsfully could be dropped for verification even when the image analyst has confirmed the declaration.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, Chief Supretendent of Customs, Abubakar Usman, in response to inquiries by DAILY TREND noted these verifications are carried out to ascertain correct classification
and description of the cargo. He said containers are alerted in order to enable the imputation of correct information.

“What is happening is the case where agents are asked to drop containers for verification even when the image analyst has confirmed the declaration. These are only done at the level of the scanner manager to ascertain the following.

1. Correct Classification

2. Correct description

3. Alerted containers to enable the imputation of correct information” Usman stated

1 thought on “ANLCA On Collision Course with Apapa Customs Over Releasing of Containers

  1. If container must be position for verification after scanning, wat is d essence of scanning d container in d first place? This is not wat scanning is designed to do.
    Then d extortion by crffn need to stop, if agents has already been confirmed fit by ncs and license r issued and npa too, certify d agent to operate, wat role has crffn want to play and they just want to create a bottle neck in our operations. I think d FG need to scrap this organization to ease business in our ports.

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