By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) 100% Compliance Team has commended customs on their prompt intervention over the alleged dubious, outrageous and multiple charges by customs which according to him has yielded more fruit and effort.
He therefore called on the federal government to increase the scanner from one to four, to meet the volume of declarations as well as deploying more Customs officers to the scanning site, as he insisted that one cargo scanner at Apapa Port is not enough for the huge volume of cargo landing at APM Terminals in the port.
He noted that the e-Customs (Electronic Selection Process) is the best option in this circumstance and commended the Nigeria Customs Service for its prompt intervention that has brought about a drastic reduction in the number of Debit Notes issued by APM Terminals Apapa in the recent times.
While addressing the journalists on the issue, Tanko warned that if no significant changes or improvement in the services at the terminal, they( freight forwarders) would withdraw their services in protest of poor services, extortion,bribery and deliberate acts to force demurrage on freight forwarders.
Noting that the reintroduction of scanners was as a result of security challenges, the Coordinator recalled that APMT officials had earlier during a meeting in Abuja promised to scan up to 800 containers per day but that the operator could hardly scan 50 containers in a day.
The Compliance Team, in a letter addressed to the Area Comptroller Nigeria Customs Service , Apapa Command dated 7th October, 2022, had complained that the deployment of scanners at the Premier Port Complex , Apapa, suffered a setback following alleged sharp practices by some staff of the terminal operator.
The NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team National Coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko expressed hope that other issues raised in the letter to the Apapa Command of the Service would be resolved soon.
Tanko, who is also board member of NAGAFF as well as Governing Council member, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), urged the CAC Apapa Command to consider physical examination for some of the declarations to ease the pressure on the premier port with the volume of ships and quantum of containers coming into it.
Recently, Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed commissioned the newly installed mobile scanner at the Apapa Port, saying efforts were being made by the federal government to procure and bring in more scanners to the seaports, land borders and airports .
According to the Minister, she disclosed that the scanner has the capacity of dictating prohibited imports concealed in cargos as well as enable up to 500 cargoes to be scanned in a day which brings about the desired effectiveness and efficiency in cargo examination processes.
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