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Freight forwarders demand report of probe panel on large scale corruption in CRFFN
Speaking on the alleged misappropriation of funds by the CRFFN’s Registrar, Otunba Ogunojemite said, “The Registrar was alleged of employing 13 ghost workers, seized workers allowances in excess of N15million and other financial misappropriation.
“He was said to have single-handedly organized a fake training for selected CRFFN officials that cost N109million.
the Chairman of the Governing Council of CRFFN and the Ministry of Transportation, as they accused the CRFFN’s Registrar of several financial misappropriations and discrimination against
men.“Following the top issues of serious illegalities raised in the petition, the Transportation Ministry interrogated the CRFFN Registrar and the maritime public demand that the findings of the
Transport Ministry be publicized because we are aware that Mr. Muhiy-deen Awwal, Director, Human Resources Management, Ministry of Transportation headed a Committee that concluded a report on this matter.”
He appealed to the Minister to intervene and correct what he described as discrimination and injustice before it leads to agitation among those that are being cheated.
“Presently, the CRFFN has started sharing the proceeds of the Practitioners Operations Fee (POF) with only five registered associations at the rate of N200,000, thereby leaving out the individuals and corporate organizations.
“The associations benefiting are; the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA); National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF); Association of Registered Freight Forwarders (AREFFN); Nigerian Airfreight Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC) and National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA)”
He however, pointed out that the above mentioned five associations represent less than 40 percent of the entire freight forwarders in the country.
“It should be noted that individuals and companies pay the said POF, yet there is no platform for these categories of legitimate CRFFN registered individuals and corporate bodies to benefit from the POF that the CRFFN has been sharing among the monopolistic associations parading themselves as registered associations.”
“This continuous marginalization of CRFFN registered individual and corporate members is stoking a high degree of dissent that could evolve into a protest against CRFFN in the nearest future, even as it is a grossly illegal act that would soon land the agency in a litany of litigations”
Freight forwarder cries out over heightened insecurity at Lagos ports
—says miscreants, robbers now invade APMT
— laments high non-compliance among freight forwarders
The Eyewitness Reporter
One of the foremost freight forwarders in the maritime industry and the Chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders( NAGAFF) 100 percent Compliance team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, has raised the alarm about what he described as burgeoning cases of insecurity at the Lagos ports.
According to him, undesirables elements such as robbers, beggars and other social miscreants, have now invaded the ports, sleeping and smoking Indian helms at the terminals.
Tanko, who is also the Vice-President, Western Zone of NAGAFF, made this startling revelation Thursday at the Maritime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria(MARAN) round table, a talk- show programme for industry players.
At the programme, Tanko lamented unrestricted access of these criminals into the ports despite the so-called multi-layer security mechanism of the Nigerian Ports Authority(NPA), Nigeria Port Police, the Customs and the terminal operators.
He specifically fingered the AP Mollers Terminal as the worst hit as the terminal has been literally turned into a marketplace.
”I have once written letters to the Customs Area Controllers at Apapa, Tin Can and PTML commands over this issue but there seems no solution to the problem.
”If you go to the AMPT, Apapa, the place is like a market. There is too much crowd. Yo don’t even know who is who in that place.
”People sleeping and smoking Indian hemp at the APMT. The Terminal has become a haven for criminals and street urchins who molest genuine port operators in the terminal
Tanko further disclosed that these undesirable elements often trail their victims from inside the terminal till they reach outside the port before they strike, dispossessing them of their valuables and in few cases, killing them.
”There was a sad case of an agent who was trailed by these robbers right from inside the APMT terminal till they got outside the port where they robbed and killed him.
”In the process of robbing and killing their victim, the ID card of one of the robbers fell down which the police recovered.
”This led them to the criminal who confessed that they trailed their victim from inside the APMT.
”This shows the level of insecurity at the APMT terminal”, lamented the freight forwarder.
He therefore appealed to the Nigerian Ports police, the NPA and the Customs to tighten security at the ports because, ”as its is now , we are no longer safe doing our business at the ports”
He queried how those who have no business at the port could easily gain access into a place where is supposed to be a restricted area.
On the issue of extortion and harassment of freight foewarders by the Cutoms officers, Tanko blamed the audacity of the Customs to perpetrate this henious act on the high level of non-compliance among his fellow freight forwarders.
Tanko lamented that despite the efforts of the NAGAFF compliance team to stem the tide, non- compliance of freight forwarders to exant laws guiding cargo clearing process is still very high.
”This issue of non- compliance is affecting genuine freight forwarders. On daily basis, our containers are being seized on the road by various units of Customs.
”Federal Operation Unit(FOU) of Customs , CG strike Force and Customs Police, at different points on the road, harrass and seize our containers.
He said all these atrocious acts are being visited on freight forwarders because they are not doing the right thing.
Tanko said that in as much as he was not holding brief for the Customs or justifying their acts of impunity, he blamed the non-compliant freight forwarders for their woes.
He said no Customs officer will first ask for money but the fright forwarder who refuses to do the right thing will instead induce the officers with money in order to cover his atrocities.
The NAGAFF chieftain declared that despite the appeal and campaign of his compliance team, which they started two years ago, the level of compliance among the freight agents is still less than 30 percent.
He said the benefits for doing the right thing far outweigh cutting the corners ”as nobody will be able to extort or harrass you, neither will they be able to seize your containers”.
”If you make correct declaration and pay correct duties, nobody will be able to extort you, harrass you, threaten you with Demand Notice or even seize your containers. You will go home and sleep soundly.
”You could even sue them if they dare seize your container in error”, Tanko admonished.
Tanko lamented that those of them in the compliance team are being witch-hunted, threatened and branded as enemies and saboteurs.
He however enjoined freight forwarders to always do the right things in order to safe themselves from the incessant harassment of the Customs officers.
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