By Oluwabunmi Ogunjimi
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, has said that “80 percent of freight forwarders have developed hypertension due to the cumbersome cargo clearing process.”
Consequently, the association has concluded plans to engage both the freight forwarders and the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, operatives on due process and standardisation of cargo clearing regime.
Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, the National Coordinator of the NAGAFF- 100% Compliance Team, Mr Ibrahim Tanko said that the team is embarking on a sensitization tour of the port and Customs Command of the South Western part of the country to educate freight forwarders on the need to do their businesses within the law.
He explained that until operators play within the laws regulating trading activities, corruption will continue unabated.
Explaining further, Tanko said that most Customs officers are fronts for some Customs agents thereby creating more problems for agents.
He disclosed that most Customs agents, out of desperation to get clearing jobs from importers, now use the names of their companies to do third party importation for their clients.
He further disclosed that most Customs agents have landed in trouble due to desperation as most imports contain prohibited items unknown to the agents leading to revocation of clearing licenses.
He said: “We want to create a zero tolerance level for corruption in the ports and move against Customs officers that use ‘Camp Boys’ to run entries.
“Some of these Customs have become fronts for some agents and the situation must stop and we must assist the Customs Service in revenue generation just as we plan to hold government agencies accountable for any form of trade infractions.
“We will not hesitate to expose any form of corrupt practices in the system and protect the interest of freight forwarders in the event of any dispute.”