The recent statement on the illegality of the 100% Compliance Task Team of National Association of Government Approved Freigfht Forwarders (NAGAFF) and the Task Force against Corruption of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA), credited to the Registrar, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, Mr. Samuel Nwokohu has continued to attract the irk of some freight forwarders.
The Acting Chairman of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA) Muritala Mohammed International Airport(MMIA) Chapter, Mr. Desmond Udeaha, has made it clear that neither the Registrar nor the Chairman of the Borad of CRFFN have the right to declare those groups illegal.
Udeagha who stated this in an exclusive interview with TimenewsReporter in his office in Lagos said rather than making such unguided statement, they should have had a round table with the leaders of the Associations as to find a lasting solution to their problems.
“CRFFN is a regulation body. They are not regulating the practices of the agents. They are not regulating the ports. They even mentioned that the associations were written to hold on, but I don’t know the nature they want it to be. If you are a regulation body, you are not regulating the practices of the agents, they are not regulating the port, So I don’t really know. Infact, this CRFFN, I am still confused about it and what their job is. Now look at the POF they have been talking about since how many years ago, they can’t even do anything. Now you say you are regulating agents, and you are acting like Government Agents, so there’s a lot of confusion about CRFFN”, he said.
The ANLCA MMIA Acting chairman noted that , CRFFN leadership had not been able to organise any training for Agents and freight forwarders in the maritime sector as promised and wondered why no tangible thing had been achieved since over two years they had been in office.
“Even the promise they made that they will be organising training for the agents, they have not been able to fulfill. I wonder
since over two years now, no tangible achievement, so I don’t know the scientific approach CRFFN wants to adopt in fighting corruption”, he stated.
He lamented the level of corruption at the ports, saying, ” consignments that had been examined by the examination officers in every terminal, passed from the gate, some 5 or 20 kilometers away, the same consignment would be intercepted by the Federal Operation Unit(FOU) or Customs General Task Force or Customs Police, So, is it not indictment against Customs?”.
On the operations of Customs Police outside the ports, Udegaha said,” The Idea of Customs Police, I do not understand. Military Police, they are to instill or discipline military officers. They don’t have anything to do with outsiders. So, if you have Customs Police, Customs Police should equally discipline their officers but not going after cargos that are on the road. I don’t know the reason for the multiplicity of officers.
“In the ports, there are double checks. There are lots of units inside the ports. We have the evaluation unit, CIU, CG people and the resident officers. With all these things, there is still double check. Infact, once any consignment is exited, it is assumed that Customs have found out that everything about it is perfect and that is why they exited it. And why would you exit a consignment that was exited by Customs and another Custom Unit will seize same cargo.
“So, when you talk of corruption, for instance, when you come from mile 2 going to Tin Can, you will see about 2 or 3 Customs unit. This one will say FOU, this other one will say Strike Force and there are another one that is CG monitoring Unit aside CG Strike Force. I don’t really know”, he said.