Following complaints of alleged arbitrary charges by shipping companies and terminal operators, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr. Hassan Bello, has said that the failure of freight forwarders operating in Nigeria to give honest declaration of their consignments is responsible for problems and delays sometimes faced in the course of doing their business.
Bello spoke when a delegation of Freight Forwarders Trade Group of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCC1) led by its President Mrs. Juli Ogboru paid a courtesy visit to the NSC headquarters in Apapa, Lagos, on Tuesday.
While noting the important role of freight forwarding business in international trade, Bello charged the agents to always imbibe ethical principles, even as he explained that terminal operators and shipping companies were not always responsible for alleged delays and high cost of doing business in the country.
“It is not only the terminal operators and shipping companies that cause problems, shippers too, in as much as they are our members, are sometimes responsible for certain things that happen and we should not be shy of saying it. One of the reasons is either false declaration or under-declaration of cargoes. The agents under declare their cargo and cause a lot of delay. NSC has had series of seminar on ethical practice in our trade and that goes to the agents of the shippers who are the freight forwarders,” Bello stated.
He added: “If you make rightful declaration then 70 percent of the problem is solved.”
Speaking earlier, Ogboru, while seeking the cooperation of the NSC, urged Bello to intervene in the plight of freight forwarders.
According to her, most of the jobs done by freight forwarders have been taken over by expatriates thereby making them irrelevant.
“I will crave your indulgence to see that the freight forwarding business is done by Nigerian indigenes like it is done in other part of the country. Nigerians are not giving the opportunity they should have in the clearing system,” Ogboru said.
She went on: “We look forward to your cooperation with the chamber because most of the jobs done in the ports, about 75 per cent is done by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.”
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