Freight Forwarders in the Maritime Industry who are bent on flouting trade rules have been urged to have a rethink as it will no longer be ‘business as usual’ come January 2021.
It would be recalled that some government agencies like NCS, SON, NAFDAC, NDLEA, etc. have consistently accused Freight forwarders and importers of not complying to trade rules, which has contributed to seizures, as well as delay in clearing and releasing of their cargos from the Ports.
The National Coordinator, NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team , Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko gave the advice in an exclusive chat with TimeNews Reporter in his office, Apapa -Lagos.
Tanko said arrangements were in top gear to effect strict compliance to trade rules on their members, government agencies and other stakeholders , adding that Compliance Team members have been positioned in all the bonded terminals and port terminals for monitoring and enforcement.
”We have carried out sensitization campaigns in all the bonded terminals in Lagos and we hope to do the same in all port terminals before January2021.”
The National Coordinator who vowed not to be deterred by threats from Freight Forwarders who felt he was standing on their way to make money in an illegal way, assured to continue in the fight until things are done properly.
According to him, ”most people think Tanko is their problem at the ports, but it is not true. Even if I die today, the Compliance Team would continue. Someone else will rise to take up the challenge because people are tired of the system of corruption, Not even my death would stop the quest for sanity in our industry. I am not afraid of death. I have been receiving some threats, but it does not move me. We must get it right this time.
”They are already complaining that this Team is causing a lot of trouble at the ports, but we have not started our enforcement yet. We have only done introduction of our members and awareness creation in all the bonded terminals at the Western Zone. It is high time they change and we must change. In the next 5 years it will not be business as usual.
Alhai Tanko who is also the Vice President, Western Zone Seaports of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders,(NAGAFF) called on those who cut-corners(on the fast lane) in their business activities in the port to change their attitude to avoid being exposed as from next year.
On the invitation of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria to join in their strike action against issues affecting their operations at the port , he said, ”we decided not to join them because of the Peak Season and the intended ENDSARS protest again which was to take effect last week. We don’t want hoodlums to use up such opportunity.”
Tanko however announced that the Lagos State Government via Ministry of Transport have accepted to work with COFFAMAT to address the traffic situation on port access roads.
Photo: Alhaji Ibahim Tanko, National Coordinator 100% Compliance Team