Founder, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, said his association is determined to fight corruption in the ports without looking back, denying that it has ‘chickened out’ of its declaration of ‘war’ against a serving deputy controller of the Nigeria Customs Service in the Lagos ports.
Aniebonam, who spoke to Online Publishers/Editors, said rather than abandon the fight, his association may report the deputy controller (names withheld) to the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC.
Reacting to the news report that the association ‘chickened out’ from its planned public hearing against the deputy controller, Aniebonam said it was not true.
He explained that though he led leaders of the association to honour the invitation of the controller over the matter, the public hearing still held.
Aniebonam said the report of the public hearing which held at NAGAFF village, last week, would be sent to the ICPC and the Customs Controller.
However, he explained that the controller had during the meeting promised to look into the areas of allegation against the deputy controller, while also promising to call a wider and holistic stakeholders’ meeting during which everyone concerned will be briefed on steps taken to make amends in the areas of concern.
According to him, the CAC promised that all allegations of malpractices inherent in the operations of the command would be addressed.
Anibonam said what has been holding his association back against the deputy controller was the good relationship existing between it and the controller.
He added that NAGAFF’s outcry against corruption in the ports was for the interest of all Nigerians, adding that it supports President Muhammadu Buhari and the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, in the fight against corruption.
He said the plan is to join the federal government in the fight to reduce corruption at the ports.
He disclosed that he has told members to educate their clients (importers) to be law-abiding in their international trade, condemning under-declaration and concealment of consignments.
Aniebonam described what happens in the ports as systemic corruption, saying the comptroller-general needs the support of leaders of associations to address such problems.
He said the CG can invite leaders of NAGAFF and the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, to a closed door meeting for a holistic briefing on how the issue of corruption can be tackled at the ports.


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