—blame weak regulatory environment
Freight Forwarders plying their trade at the Nigerian ports have claimed that about 45 to 50 percent of containers used to bring in exports into the country are expired.
They lamented that some of these containers are so bad that they are patched by the side to import items into the country, warning that this has a dire consequence, especially if the imported items are consumables
It could be recalled that the life cycle of container range between 15 to 20 years but the freighters alleged that most of the containers used by foreign freight forwarders for shipment of goods into the country have exceeded the age limit
Lending credence to this disturbing trend, the Tincan chapter chairman of the Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), Comrade Godfrey Nwosu, expressed worry that such expired containers can do a lot of harm to the goods they are used to converge, especially if they are consumables or health products.
He observed that most of the freight forwarders in the countries of origin are mostly responsible for this anomaly.
The freight forwarder also blamed the trend on the fact that the older the container, the cheaper the cost of rent which could make shippers opt for them.
“45 percent, if not 50 percent, of the containers used for shipping goods into this country is expired.
“Do you know or are you aware that each container has a stainless plate that carries the identity of the container?”
“Most Shippers didn’t know who do vehicular shipment because they are not in the countries where shipments are made into the country.
“Most times, they just tell their Shippers they need 40 feet container to ship goods into the country, they will do the booking and lift the box to his yard and push them here”
“Most at times, the owners of these goods don’t have the final answer to evaluate or know the kind of box they use in carrying their shipments.
“The forwarders in the country of origin short-change them. The older the container, the cheaper the rate of renting it”
“The type of cargo sometimes determines the kind of container to use. For instance, there are containers that come with pallets and the suppliers of the pallets are different from the makers of the containers.
Nwosu lamented the lack of regulation on containers used to import goods into the country even as he maintained that it has dire consequences on the items and the consumers.
“There is no regulating standard for containers used for shipping
“Using an expired container is contagious for food items, medicaments because if the containers are expired, the wooden floors are also expired. If you use such containers with expired wooden floors for fragile or sensitive goods, the chemicals may contaminate them”
“You don’t just import health equipment with any container, it requires that the standards be maintained to avoid being contaminated.
Speaking in the same vein, Onome Monije, Public Relations Officer of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) said that the development could cause damage to items contained in them.
She added that there is not always time for the agents to forward their complaints because of fear of demurrage accumulation.
“When you have a rusted container and there are many cars inside the container and they touch the wall, it will definitely affect the cars.
“Most times, we are running to avoid demurrage, we tend not to give much attention to such cases because if you write to shipping companies, it will take time for them to reply to you.”
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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