This is just another attempt to legitimise their extortionist tendencies inside the Ports and Border stations. After all, Nigeria Customs ensures that any NAFDAC-related consignment cannot be examined without firstly contacting NAFDAC for 1st stamping, which is officially paid for. Secondly, Customs will not release such cargoes without a second stamping, which is done after examination.If this procedure is not effective, then the blame should go to NAFDAC monitoring officials who, after being compromised, report wrongly. Once detected, such personnel should be accosted and sanctioned, rather than seek ways of justifying a return to the ports for ulterior motives other than genuinely arresting offensive imports, majority of which had been arrested by Nigeria Customs and handed over to NAFDAC. If well intentioned, NAFDAC should come up with incontrovertible, empirical statistics to justify why they must return to the Ports and what exactly they seek to achieve. So much human interface, especially in the terminals, encourage corruptive tendencies, discourages trade facilitation,compromises security & delays cargo clearance.
Currently, we are talking about ease of doing business and the essence of it is trade facilitation. Of course most of the multiple agencies at the port have diversified the bottleneck that hampers trade facilitation in our ports. This was why the Honourable Minister at that time told NAFDAC to leave the port. Now, asking NAFDAC to return to the port is like reversing what has been done in the past. Meanwhile, they are connected to Customs devices; so, whenever any container is coming into the country, they would have seen it and they will interface with NAFDACif need be to drawn their attention to it. Besides, NAFDAC have the tool to block the delivery of a container that is suspected that the consignee and the agent will not get the delivery of such without doing the needful. I feel their coming back to the port will not help in any way solve the problems at the port, Customs have the prerogative because they are the ones that conduct 100% physical examination on all the containers even in the presence of other agencies at the port and they have the manpower to do the needful.
NAFDAC hasthe mechanism they use in doing their work at the ports though being at the port is part of it. I think the important thing is having a theoretical means of checkmating fraud like the single-window; therefore, their presence is not needed at the port. Once a declaration is made through single-window, NAFDAC will have seen it except if they are not satisfied with the declaration made by Customs that is when they can come to the port. NAFDAC stationed at the ports will allow corrupt practices to take place because when a container is meant to be arrested and there is human contact, justice will not prevail. There is no point in them beings at the port; their absence will minimise corruption. The Federal government saying NAFDAC should return to the ports is like bringing back part of the problems of the ports.