Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, has urged the Nigeria Customs Service to exercise and apply discretionary powers in its technique of cargo risk management.
A statement signed by Aniebonam said that the nation’s ports suffer congestion because operators do not apply discretion in carrying out their functions.
He said: “It is a fact that one of the major problems in our port operations is the non-compliant attitude of the port users. Nigerian Shippers and freight forwarders may be continuously in default of import regulations of Nigeria. In the same vein, Government Agencies may appear not to have developed the professional and political will to enforce government regulations with regard to import guideline and regulations. In all these anomalies, added to the fact that our ports may not have been regulated assuch, it is a case of winner takes all”.
“At the moment our ports are witnessing artificial congestion because we could not apply due discretion in our respective functions. In specific term, we urge the Nigeria Customs Service, to continue to exercise and apply discretionary powers in risk management technique with regard to inadequate capacity of our hydro-scanners. It is obvious that cargo throughput is more than what the scanners could handle and as such it shall be a good initiative to re-route cargo to physical examination in other to facilitate trade further. This measure will reduce the artificial congestion at Ports in Apapa and Tincan” the NAGAFF founder stated.
He also urged regulatory agencies mentioning in particular the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (*NAFDAC*) to imbibe the concept of corrective measures rather than its penchance of outright seizure of imports when matters of standardization and quality control arise.
Aniebonam also urged that the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigeria Shippers Council be allowed to play their roles in correcting the anomalies inherent in the port system.
The NAGAFF Founder however berated the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) for, according to him, “dragging its feet” while urging for the creation of a “properly constituted Board of CRFFN” that will serve as “a good platform for all critical stakeholders to meet regularly with a view to addressing all these human element and logistics problems in our port function”.
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