Government agencies directed by the Ministry of Finance to vacate the ports may have continued to flout government directive, as some operatives of the affected agencies are reported to have, even after inspecting a container at the invitation of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) still lobby to remain in the port.
Apparently disturbed by their illegal presence at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), Apapa, the respective Chapter leadership of the various associations, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent (ANLCA) and National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agent (NCMDLCA) operating at Apapa had last Thursday met with the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Apapa Area Command, Comptroller Charles Edike, to lay their complaints.
At the end of the closed-door meeting with representatives of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and Quarantine Services in attendance, Vice Chairman of ANLCA, Apapa Chapter, Mr. Dom Onyeka, told SHIPS & PORTS DAILY that the meeting was necessitated to work out modalities to ensure that the agencies, after inspecting cargoes, leave the port.
He said that the agents had resisted the sacked agencies who claimed to be operating on invitation from customs but according to him, they are not aware of the invitation.
“Government has asked them to leave the port but we still a lot of them parading themselves in the port so on that, agents resisted and queried them asking them why they are in the port without proper invitation so they reverted to customs who they said gave them alert from their system that they should come for the inspection but we are not aware of that invitation that is why they invited us here,” he said.
Onyeka added that, even with evidence that the agencies were invited by Customs, they oftentimes hang around thereby over staying their visit within the port premises.
“They actually have evidence that they were invited by customs but they are staying more than they should, kind of making the place their own abode.That is what we are querying, so we should work out and find a lasting solution to their continous stay at the port without necesary creating problem that will make us go back to status quo,” he said.
The CAC, according to him, has, however, assured that he will address all complaints.
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