The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has condemned the non-inclusion of freight forwarding associations in the committees that will distribute seized goods by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to the camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North.
President Muhammudu Buhari had on Monday ordered the NCS to send seized goods in various warehouses in the country to the camps of IDPs in the country.
Following this, the Comptroller General of Customs, Hammed Ali had constituted a national committee including operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Army, Air force, Police, Immigration and other civil society organizations that would coordinate the movement of the seized goods.
But NAGAFF’s legal adviser, Fred Akokhia said it was wrong to have excluded the associations in the committee, describing the decision as clearly against the order of the President.
Akokhia pointed out in a letter addressed to the Customs CG that apart from the associations of freight forwarders, the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) was also not included in the committee noting that their non-inclusion in the committee may have been as a result of wrong advice, particularly on the relevance or otherwise of CRFFN as a regulator of the freight forwarding practitioners.
Part of the letter reads: “We regret to observe that CRFFN, NAGAFF and ANLCA are not included in the constituted IDP’s committee to give effect to the President’s order on seized goods. It may be an oversight on the part of your administration over time to exclude the most strategic allies to your administration.
“It is on record that within the period under review, your visitation to stakeholders may have tactically excluded CRFFN and any of the two major freight associations like, NAGAFF and ANLCA as strategic partners to Customs responsibilities.
“It is our view and advice that the CGC should realize and recognize the strategic importance of the CRFFN as an agency of the Government to regulate and control freight forwarders in Nigeria. And as such, you may wish to include CRFFN, NAGAFF and ANLCA in your programme of action and activities in the Customs ports and approved gateways and more importantly in the constitution of the IDP’s communities on seized goods.
“We give this very important advice in good faith because we want you to succeed in actualizing your mandate as given to you by Mr. President at the Nigeria Customs Service. May we again remind and inform you that the corruption rate in Customs matters is seemingly on the increase since your assumption of duty.”
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