Customs boss Ali storms Lagos today, meets freight forwarders

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Barring any last minute change, the Comptroller General of Customs, Hammed Ali will today visit the two major clearing and freight forwarding associations, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the National Association of Government Approved freight forwarders (NAGAFF).

This is the first time Ali will be meeting with members of the associations for an interactive session since he assumed office in August 2015 and after several attempts by the leadership of the two associations to meet with him.

National Publicity Secretary of NAGAFF, Stanley Ezenga said the visit will afford Ali the opportunity “to hear from practitioners”, who would give an “eye witness account”, as to the reasons it was alleged that corruption was on the increase at the Customs ports and approved border stations of the service.

“You will recall that NAGAFF has on several occasions complained about the non-compliance to import and export regulations of the government by the greater number of the government agencies, service providers and other stakeholders who come to do business with the Customs.

“Accordingly, NAGAFF and her sister association, the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) are set to partner with the Nigeria Customs Service to kick-start the concept of best practices in Nigerian ports and border stations with a view to adding value to our dream of a new Nigeria on matters of international trade, freight forwarding practice and customs facilitation.

“In this regard may we advise all concerned freight forwarders and licensed customs agents to forward in writing what should be done by the CGC and his management team to bring about best practices in customs operations,” the statement read in part.

On his part, National Publicity Secretary of ANLCA, Prince Kayode Farinto said while the CG’s visit is coming rather too late after his appointment more than a year ago, ANLCA is “ready to dialogue with him on the challenges faced by members and on the way forward to have a more seamless operation at the port”.