The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has warned its members and the trading public against importing goods without the mandatory Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assessment Programme (SONCAP) certificate into the country.
Founder of the association, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, said that SON will no longer tolerate a situation whereby unscrupulous Nigerians import goods that are capable of endangering the lives of Nigerians.
Aniebonam said that the leadership of NAGAFF will not go pleading for any agent or importer who runs foul of the law.
“The DG (of SON) regretted that not only do we endanger the lives of Nigerians through unwholesome practices, we also enrich other nations without getting value for our money. With this development it is our view that all freight forwarders and NAGAFF members as professionals must imbibe the principles of best practices and due compliance to import regulations,” Aniebonam in a message made available to SHIPS & PORTS DAILY.
He said it is the duty of members of the association to “duty to educate and enlighten their principals as to the need to become compliant to the rules of engagement.”
“The NAGAFF headquarter may not attend to or plead for any member who is in the habit of evading import regulations either at the Customs operation segment or the regulatory agencies of the government schedule of duty,” he stated.
The NAGAFF founder advised the managements of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and SON to increase and intensify effort in the area of education and enlightenment of the trading public with a view to achieving due compliance to import regulations.
“We are satisfied with the efforts of NCS (Nigeria Customs Service) and NSC (Nigerian Shippers’ Council) in the area of seeking for support from the trading public and freight forwarders to building capacity and cooperation for a more friendly port operation.
“Whereas we seek for the support of anti-dumping operations, there is the urgent need for SON and NAFDAC to have a second look at their administrative and defaulting charges which is seemingly very high. The public opinion is that it is encouraging smuggling in our country,” he said.
Aniebonam also said that the ejection of SON and NAFDAC from the ports “may not actually equate a total truncation of either their relevant functions or their enabling laws”.
“The DG stated clearly that the exit of SON and any other regulatory agencies of the government from the ports and border stations were basically administrative to ensuring trade facilitation in our entry points. And that the benevolence of government in that regard should not be used as a compromise to quality assurances of product imported and/or manufactured in Nigeria,” he added.