The National Association Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has frowned at alleged unauthorised presence of officials of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) at the nation’s ports.
A statement issued from the NAGAFF National Headquarters, a copy of which was sent toSHIPS & PORTS DAILY accused officials of NESREA of allegedly flouting the directives of the Federal Government that regulatory agencies should only be present at the ports to examine cargo that requires their professional inspection on invitation by personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
“The menace of NESREA in the port is embarrassing. It is disturbing to note that NESREA officials in Lagos zone can openly disobey and disparage the authority of Mr. President to have abolished the presence of some of the government regulatory agencies in the port. The NESREA officials usually barge into the ports in Lagos to participate in Customs examination, they operate in disguise and in deceit to the resident custom authority. The most annoying thing is the open confrontation and threats to sack custom officers who obstruct their illegal duty. The show of shame got to a point on Friday 1st February 2013, at about 1pm, when the NESREA officials were resisted by the freight agents. It took the intervention of the same Customs officers they usually threaten to save them from the mob,” the statement noted.
The statement further alleged that NESREA officials illegally detain containers of minor or low risk import in the ports, thereby, according to the association, causing congestion.
NAGAFF noted that the “the ports are not ware housing facilities but transit depots for the final destination of cargo.”
The statement urged the Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Nigerian Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to investigate the said illegal acts by NESREA, appealing to President Goodluck Jonathan to be “decisive on port reforms and transformation of Nigeria as far as systemic corruption and breaches of laid–down port order are concerned.”
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