President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Chief Eugene Nweke, has said that freight forwarders cannot help but cut corners in carrying out cargo clearance procedures at the nation’s ports.
During his presentation at a recent seminar held in Lagos, Nweke said that the “corrupt and bureaucratic nature” of the port environment brings out the worss in freight forwarders.
He said: “If a system is not properly structured; if there is corruption in the system, then the freight forwarder would also want to find a way of bending the rules. If there is cumbersome procedure on the part of regulatory agencies and this procedure is making a freight forwarder to incur so much demurrage for what he did not bargain for, the freight forwarder may be tempted to look for other alternatives”.
Nweke said until the practice of bureaucracy and extortion by port government agencies is eliminated, agents will have no choice but to bend the rules.
He said that a freight forwarders priority is to satisfy his clients and would go to great lengths to maintain their patronage.
“He wants to perform, to satisfy his clients. Who are his clients? It could be an importer, manufacturer or importer. He is under contract to perform. A freight forwarder is time conscious because he is under contract to ensure that he delivers his clients’ goods on time,” he said.