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Freight Monitor

ANLCA dismisses strike threat at Tin Can port as baseless, by faceless group.

Kayode Farinto, VP, ANLCA

—–says efforts to resolve NAC controversial levy in top gear.

Eyewitness reporter.

The top hierarchy of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has described as baseless the call on freight forwarders to go on strike from Monday to protest the imposition of a 15 percent National Automotive Council (NAC) levy on second-hand vehicles.

One Alhaji Rilwan Amuni, who claimed to be a youth leader of ANLCA at Tin Can Island Port, had circulated a strike notice Friday, asking Customs brokers to brace up for a one-day warning strike on Monday to protest the controversial 15 percent NAC levy.

In a swift reaction, Kayode Farinto, the Acting President of ANLCA, condemned the call for strike and disowned the conveyor of the message.

“The ANLCA is not going on strike on account of the NAC levy. The call for a strike is by a faceless group in the Tin can port and we shall deal with the situation appropriately.

“Who signed the notice? That character is not a member of ANLCA and has no license. Whoever heeds his call for a strike does so at his or her own risk.” the ANLCA chieftain warned

He said the action of the “faceless group” does not enjoy the support of the ANLCA top hierarchy.

In a similar vein, the association said the leadership of the five accredited freight forwarding associations is working in tandem to resolve the controversial NAC levy.

The Secretary-General of the ANLCA, Alhaji Abdulaziz Mukaila, said that the freight forwarders confraternity has decided to engage the Federal Ministry of Finance on the issue.

“When we held a meeting with the Customs last week Wednesday, we found out that the agency was not responsible for the imposition of the levy but the ministry of Finance.

“We have therefore written to the ministry and only got the acknowledgment of our letter Thursday.

“Hopefully, the five accredited freight forwarding associations will hold a meeting with the ministry officials next week,” the ANLCA Chief Scribe told our reporter.

Alhaji Mukaila explained further that the controversy on the Vehicles Identification Number (VIN) valuation policy has been resolved amicably with the Customs.

“At the meeting, we had with the Customs, we were satisfied with the outcome.

“The Customs has agreed to build in 10 percent depreciation level of vehicles before the policy, which is on suspension now, is relaunched”

The ANLCA Chief Scribe further gave details of the meeting.

“There is an extant law that stipulates that you cannot bring in a vehicle above 10 years.

“This age limit has been built into the system as the cut-off year.

“So if anyone brings in a 1970 year car, he should be ready to pay the amount of 2013.

“We agreed to that and the 10 percent depreciation by compound accounting will be applied to give each car 10 years’ depreciation by value.

“That was worked out in our presence and in the process of getting 10 percent. It is ok with us.

“The only thing we asked the Customs to do is to look into how they can build in accident and salvage vehicles so that whoever brings in cars in that category, there would be a way of differentiating those cars in that category from those that are fully-built of the same year.

“The Customs has promised to work on that and invite us back before launching it.

“So far so good”, he declared.

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Freight Monitor

My comments on anti-trade practices of some freight forwarders misconstrued—-Tanko

Tanko Ibrahim
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Freight Monitor

CRFFN member tackles Tanko over claims that freight forwarders are corrupt

Princess Chi Ezeh, NAGAFF Chieftain
—- says claims are false, blackmail, self-serving
Eyewitness reporter
Two frontline members of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) and incidentally members of the fourth governing board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria (CRFFN), Princess Chi Ezeh and Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, have disagreed over the conduct and professional integrity of freight Nigerian forwarders.
While Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko believed that freight forwarders, of which he is one of their stocks, are corrupt and wilfully connive with Customs officers to circumvent the new Vehicles Identification Number (VIN) valuation policy in order to cheat the federal government of its revenue, Princess Chi Ezeh holds contrary views, saying freight forwarding is an ethical profession which is an integral part of value chains in the transport industry.
Recall that Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko had declared that freight forwarders evade customs duties with the collaboration of corrupt customs officers through the manipulation of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), stating that “most freight forwarders have started cutting corners by conniving with valuation officers and releasing officers to get the ex-factory price as value payable on used vehicles.”
Princess Ezeh, the only female member on the fourth governing board of the CRFFN,  however, took a swipe at Alhaji Tanko, the National Coordinator of NAGAFF’s Compliance team, over his comments, saying they were self-serving, meant to gain cheap publicity and blackmail government agencies.
She said that the fourth CRFFN board, of which the two contending NAGAFF members are part, is concerned about effectively regulating freight forwarding in a bid to stop the practice of using false statements to gain popularity or blackmail government agencies.
“In my professional opinion, condemning freight forwarders because of PAAR is wrong because PAAR isn’t the final document for clearing cargoes.
“It is advisory as the cargoes and the accompanying declarations are further subjected to either physical or documentary checks at the ports.
“CRFFN is concerned about correcting this wrong perception about freight forwarders,” she said.

According to Chi Ezeh, PAAR as it is, is a function of valuation principles based on general agreement on Trade and Tariffs, quality and quantity of the items, and even the application of rules of origin.

She condemned what she described as the de-marketing efforts of Alhaji Tanko which she believed negatively affect the image of the freight forwarding profession in particular and the maritime industry in general in the eye of the international community.
She also condemned the act that she described as unpatriotic and capable of undermining  Nigeria’s Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).

Chi Ezeh further disclosed that the industry practitioners are professionals for whom such a blanket label of unethical conduct is not only false but unpatriotic.

She said the cargo clearing system is a chain involving many agencies, all of whom ensure that best practices are applied in cargo handling towards Customs revenue generation and national security.

Chi Ezeh who is also the Vice President in-charge of seaports at the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), stressed that every ex-factory price given in valuation is always approved by the Customs Area Controller while the physical examination is conducted for vehicle declarations by Customs and all other approved government agencies in the ports.

She posited that it is not possible for all the agencies involved in cargo clearance to standby and allow the false allegations raised in the publication.

“Freight forwarding is an ethical profession where the practitioners have high-level integrity.

“Like the profession of doctors, accountants, lawyers, among others; there are ethics, principles, and standards.
“I totally disagree with the insinuation that all freight forwarders are corrupt.
“We are an integral part of the national economy who contribute greatly to the economic and physical security of the nation through the huge revenue profile announced by customs annually.”

“The truth is that these cargoes are being examined. So, does this mean that everyone in the entire supply chain is corrupt?

“If Customs is being accused of corruption in connivance with freight forwarders, how about the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and other agencies because examination of cargoes isn’t done by Customs alone.
“So, this accusation is wrong and demarkets freight forwarding as well as the entire players in the industry,” Chi Ezeh said.
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Freight Monitor

Stakeholder calls out Amaechi to account for millions of Naira in remittances made by freight forwarders under CRFFN.

Segun Musa
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