Nigeria Customs Service,
Zone ‘A’ and the National
Association of Government
Approved Freight Forwarders
(NAGAFF) on Tuesday held
talks on how to tackle perennial
issues causing hiccups in the
cargo clearing process, and in
the movement of containers
from the port to their final
destinations.
ACG Aminu Dahiru, and
NAGAFF Founder, Dr.
Boniface Aniebonam in a
group photograph with officers
and NAGAFF members who
attended the meeting on
Tuesday.
ACG Aminu Dahiru, and
NAGAFF Founder, Dr.
Boniface Aniebonam in a
group photograph with officers
and NAGAFF members who
attended the meeting on
Tuesday.
The Zonal Coordinator,
Assistant Comptroller General
(ACG) of Customs, Aminu
Dahiru, hosted the NAGAFF
delegation led by its Founder,
Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, in his
office on Harvey Road, Yaba
Lagos.
Addressing the ACG and other
officers at the zone, the President
of NAGAFF, Chief Increase
Uche, said that besides working
at improving an already cordial
relationship, the association
wanted the ACG to address the
challenges facing them from
operations of the customs.
He said that “While the visit
aims to improve the already
existing cordial relationship,
there is also need to address
the challenges and improve the
trade process, as we talk about
the ease of doing business.
“NAGAFF believes in change,
and has been supporting
training of freight forwarders on
dynamics of the profession.”
Uche, appealed to the ACG to
address the issue of stoppage of
containers on the highway after
it must have been duly cleared
and released from the port.
According to him, “The
problem of the Federal
Operations Unit (FOU) stopping
containers on the way after they
must have been cleared from
the port needs to be addressed,
because the containers passed
through competent officers of
the same Customs for clearing.”
Uche decried the problem
of a slow pace at processing
documents, saying such acts
often led to port congestion,
especially following the frequent
breakdown of scanners used by
the customs for examination.
He added that “NAGAFF has
always campaigned against false
declaration.”
In his response, ACG Dahiru
pledged his commitment to trade
facilitation. He said NAGAFF
upheld professionalism,
particularly for capacity building
for its members.
Addressing the issue of
broken down scanners, Dahiru
argued that the Customs Service
should not be responsible for
its purchase, “I don’t think it
is customs responsibility to
provide scanners for use at
the seaports,” he said, and
encouraged NAGAFF to take
on the role of a Pressure Group,
and put pressure on the terminal
concessionaires for the scanners.
He condemned all manner of
falsification (including overtime
containers, abuse of fast-track
system) being perpetrated
by some importers or freight
forwarders.
He said: “The issue of overtime
cargo, I think such importers do
it deliberately. I came across a
document for signing and saw
that the container was imported
since 2013.
While mulling the idea of
a Conflict Resolution Desk
at the Commands to address
challenges that usually occurred,
the ACG said he would readily
support anyone who did his
business legitimately.
In his remarks, the Founder
of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface
Aniebonam, said both
parties must be up to their
responsibilities to enjoy the ease
of doing business.
He tasked the zone to address
issues in the zone and not
running to Abuja all the time.
He said that the team of the
Comptroller General of Customs
should only be around for
intervention purposes, after
which the team should leave.
Aniebonam urged the ACG to
set up a technical committee to
include two of customs officers
and others from NAGAFF, in
order for them to develop and
handover a working document
to him.

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