Home News Compliance Team Set for more Actions this year,2021… –Alhaji Tanko.                            …….. To stop collection of samples by SON, NAFDAC this Month

Compliance Team Set for more Actions this year,2021… –Alhaji Tanko.                            …….. To stop collection of samples by SON, NAFDAC this Month

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The 100% Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) said all is now set for the implementation of the second phase of their assignment.
It would be recalled that the team had announced on their Thanksgiving Ceremony last month, December 2020 ,that come 2021, it was not going to be business as usual, having concluded their sensitization tour for the Western Zone on their 10 point agenda and the need for freight Forwarders and Customs Agent, including other stakeholders in the industry to do the right thing, as far as total compliance to trade rules are concerned.
 Speaking with Time News Reporters in his office in Apapa recently, the National Coordinator of the 100% Compliance Team, Alhaji  Ibrahim Tanko said emphatically that they are ready to slug it out with the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) over excessive collection of imported  goods as samples for laboratory tests.

Alhaji Tanko who accused SON, NAFDAC of collecting  many samples without returning them back after testing, lamented that importers and freight forwarders have suffered untold losses as a result.’ .

He disclosed that his Organisation had petitioned the Office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and copied the Directors General of NAFDAC and SON, the Commissioner of Police Ports, APM Terminal as well as the two Ministers namely; the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Transportation on the matter., adding that starting from this week, they were going to stop these Agencies from collecting further samples.

 “This year, we want to start from the SON and the NAFDAC on the issue of excess sampling that they are collecting in the port. We lost huge amount of money last year and we don’t want to continue with the trend this year. The last time we know, the former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala sent them out of the ports, telling them to be operating from their offices. We spent almost five to six years working like that and nothing happened. We don’t know how they started finding their way back to the port.

“ The order said that they are to come in only on request by the customs but we now understand that they no longer come on request rather they come there on their own, they examine every container and carry samples. What baffles me most is that they don’t have limit to the number of samples that they collect. They collect as many samples as they can and they don’t return them.”

“When we finish with the SON and NAFDAC, we are proceeding to the shipping companies and terminal operators, then to other agencies like NDLEA, Plant Quarantine, DSS and so on.”

He however stressed the need for port operators to adhere to extant rules noting that they embarked on campaigns to sensitize the port operators last year on the need for everyone to comply with extant rules, while urging freight forwarders and Customs Agents to be united and speak with one voice to achieve more.

”We are loosing a lot things because we are not together. This one will call his own name, this one another, at the end of  day, we are suffering the same thing. It is high time for us to speak with one voice.  We need to be extra careful on how we are making our money. We should try as much as we can to avoid doing the wrong thing in order to earn respect”
”This issue of compliance, I always say it; we are not the one calling for compliance but the government agencies especially the customs. They used to tell us that we are not complying with trade rules and that is why they are creating different kinds of units; Strike Force, FOU, Customs Police and so on. So, we decided to start campaigning and letting people to understand why we need to do the right thing so as to help the Nigerian government,” Tanko opined.
On the 2nd phase of the pandemic which has started killing Nigerians, he advised his members to be careful and maintain social distance as well as use face mask to protect themselves, observing all the protocols. to avoid contracting the virus.
For the continuation of the tours of Bonded Terminals in the maritime Industry which was flagged of late last year, Alhaji Tanko revealed that the Team will visit Port Harcourt 2nd week of February, 2021. for the same awareness exercise.
while accessing their performance in 2020 , he said they faced a lot of challenge in 2020, ”but am not expecting such challenge this year. This year is a year of implementing our vision. Last year was a year of enlightening and sensitizing our people of our goal/mandate/mission. And that is why we want to start with government agencies like NAFDAC, Son this year.. Letter has gone to the Vice President, Osibanjo, I copied the DG’s of NAFDAC and SON , . Ministers of Finance, Trade & Commerce,  Commissioner of Police . All we are saying, issue of excessive sampling has brought much loss of money to us last year and we are not ready to loose anyone this year.”.
Photo:  Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko (middle)

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