—accuses them of lack of capacity to operate.
The National Co-ordinator of the 100 percent compliance team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim, has raised an alarm over the continued inefficiency and deteriorating services of bonded terminals in the country.
Tanko, who was speaking to journalists in his Lagos office, lamented that the unmitigated shoddy services of these facilities have been a source of concern to the NAGAFF team which has consistently complained of their laxities that have been haunting the freight forwarders.
Tanko, who doubles as the Vice- President Western Zone of NAGAFF, claimed that about 60 percent of the bonded terminals in the country lack the required capacity to deliver quality and efficient services as they do not have the requisite equipment and space.
“Most of the bonded terminal operators in Nigeria do not have the capacity to even own a terminal in the first place”
“The required capacity is that you need to get a minimum of four forklifts of different sizes, the one that can pick twenty-foot containers, and forty-foot containers.
“You need a large expanse of land that can contain at least 20,000 containers.
Most of the bonded terminals don’t have these”
But according to him, most of them lack these facilities which he said has hampered their operations and service delivery.
Tanko wondered how most of the operators of these mushroom bonded terminals were able to meet the Customs requirements to secure their operating licenses, given the parlous state of most of the infrastructural facilities of most bonded terminals.
However, he advocated for outright revocation of the licenses of the terminal operators who failed to meet the required standard.
“It is the job of the Nigerian Shippers Council to regulate the bonded terminal operators, while it is the duty of Nigeria Customs Service to license them”
“Before you own a bonded terminal, Customs is expected to go and examine the location and then give you approval.
“But because of corruption, after they have been told to inspect the facility, the officers would okay it, meanwhile it is not up to required standard.
Tanko, therefore, enjoined the regulatory agencies such as the Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Shippers’Council, to live up to their statutory duties by properly monitoring the operations of these bonded terminals and sanction the erring ones.
“We are appealing to Customs to try and assist us; anybody who has licence to own a bonded terminal but does not have what it takes to operate a bonded terminal, please they should revoke the license, because we are the people that suffer.
“About 60% of the bonded terminals we have visited, none of them have the capacity to own a bonded terminal. We see some bonded terminals without forklifts, how do you operate a terminal without a forklift?
“So, they go outside to hire a forklift. In some bonded terminals, we cannot examine our cargo during the rainy season because everywhere is flooded.
“We have been complaining, writing petitions to Customs Area Controllers, but we are still suffering, paying demurrage, shipping charges, terminal charges.
“We want the Customs to set up a committee that will visit and investigate these terminals and see by themselves. Nobody can open a bonded terminal without licence. But, then, what is the criteria for opening a bonded terminal, we need to find out”, Alhaji Tanko queried.
Freight Forwarders applaud Customs over new VIN valuation
Comptroller Kunle Oloyede of Tin Can Island Port, described VIN as a platform for robust gathering of statistical analysis and data for national economic purposes relying on the template of accuracy that will further integrate NCS with other ministries, departments and agencies.
Comptroller Hammi Swomen of Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Command, who sought more cooperation from all stakeholders, stated that sincere declarations without tampering with relevant information contained in Single Goods Declaration or mismatching information will aid in quicker clearance and seamlessness of the VIN system.
Comptroller Anthony Udenze of the Tariff and Trade Department at Customs headquarters urged vehicle importers and their agents to avoid acts that would delay the process of clearing.
He explained that the process of identifying salvage and accident vehicles under the VIN regime would be very transparent as the declarant would be expected to attach photos showing the accidented vehicles.
He further explained that for vehicles to be treated as accidented, the chassis must be affected by the accident not just by removing fenders, bumpers and headlamps.
However, Farinto called for true declaration and compliance on the part of freight forwarders. w2hivh he said will facilitate their clearance of goods and also made the Customs to introduce more changes such as auto release for used vehicles.
U.S. picks 56 young Nigerians for Mandela Washington Fellowship
The United States Mission in Nigeria said it has chosen 56 young ‘changemakers’ for the Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF) for 2022.
The statement also indicated that U.S. Mission Nigeria has selected 16 alumni from the MWF cohort from 2021 to take part in this year’s Alumni Enrichment Institute.
Kathleen FitzGibbon, Deputy Chief of Mission, made this known at the pre-departure orientation programme in Abuja organised for the beneficiaries in preparation for their fellowship in the United States this Summer.
“For the 2021/2022 MWF application cycle, over 19,000 Nigerians started the application, and over 8,000 submitted the application by the deadline.
“Following this, a total of 56 Mandela Washingon fellowship awards were made available to Nigerians this year,” she said.
In a joyous mood, one of the fellows,
“I believe this will be a game-changer for me and every other fellow as we will learn optimised ways to enhance the quality and widen the scope of impact of our works,” he said.
Chisom Nwankwo, a social entrepreneur and cleantech expert who runs the Skilled Women Initiative said: “after having a Virtual fellowship in 2021 as a result of the COVID19 pandemic, I am really excited to be heading to Drexel University Pennslyvania this summer as an Alumni Enrichment participant of the MWF.”
“I am looking forward to creating new relationships that will be pivotal to the growth of my nonprofit TSWINI and the improvement of my knowledge on sustainable clean technology solutions,” she said.
Babajide Oluwase, the founder of Ecotutu, a cleantech company delivering a suite of cold chain solutions to African businesses, said it is really an exciting feeling for him to be selected for the fellowship.
“Upon completion of my studies in the United States, I look forward to integrating the learnings into my work to advance Ecotutu’s mission of democratizing access to affordable cooling solutions for African businesses.”
While admonishing the fellows, MWF program coordinator, Diran Adegoke, told fellows that the opportunity to travel to the United States is one to be cherished.
While making a presentation on “elevator speech” to the fellows, he encouraged them to present themselves in the best version possible and always remember that they are in the United States to represent Nigeria.
Launched in 2014, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders is the flagship exchange programme of the U.S. government-sponsored Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) created to further the United States’ commitment to investing in the future of Africa.
Each year, U.S. Missions across Sub-Saharan Africa select accomplished leaders, who have established records of promoting innovation and positive impact in their countries.
This summer, the Fellows will travel to the United States to participate in six-week Leadership Institutes studying Business, Civic Engagement, or Public Management at U.S. colleges and universities.
At the conclusion of the Leadership Institutes, the Fellows will attend the annual Mandela Washington Fellowship Summit, where Fellows, U.S. government officials, and representatives from businesses and organisations with an interest in Africa engage in high-level sessions and workshops.
After completing the Leadership Institutes and Summit, Fellows are eligible to participate in several MWF alumni opportunities, such as the Alumni Enrichment Institute, that build on the skills and connections developed during their summer exchange program.
Recall that since 2014, more than 5,000 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa have participated in the MWF with 456 Fellows of the lot coming from Nigeria. Thus far, Nigeria remains the largest contributor of Fellows each year.
Talking about the import of the MWF, Ambassador Leonard said, “The United States is dedicated to investing in the next generation of young Nigerian leaders reinforcing the strong partnership between both nations.
The vision, courage, and drive to innovate of Mandela Washington Fellows will help shape the future of Nigeria for many generations to come.”
Prophet Akinpelu calls for Southeast presidency
Popular prophet, Oludele Akinpelu, the presiding pastor of Living God Freedom Church Àlagbado, has urged the political class to play by the rules and allow equity and justice to have a foothold, saying that it was time for the political system to allow for the president of Igbo extraction.
” We must condemn jungle justice, if the lady had done something wrong let the court of competent jurisdiction decides.
In his message to Nigerians, he urged the people to repent and seek the path of righteous living, adding that the current insecurity situation in the country calls for concerted prayers on the side of both Christians and Moslems.
He attributed the worsening insecurity in the country to the activity of forces of darkness who are bent on foisting a sinister agenda on the country, cashing in on poverty and illiteracy to recruit an army of jobless illiterates to carry out their agenda.
He blamed the current administration for not doubling down on countermeasures against bandits, wondering why the administration is reluctant to name individuals fingered as sponsors of banditry, but added that divine punishment awaited those sponsoring insecurity which had led to the loss of lives of innocent citizens of the country.
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