The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has called on the federal government to ensure that all trade facilitation tools are adequately provided at all the entry points across the nation to ensure a successful implementation of its Destination Inspection trade policy.
The founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Anbiebonam who made this call in a statement in Lagos on Tuesday posited that such trade facilitation tools included but not limited to automation tools, free access roads to the ports and borders, trade data and simplification of processes and procedures and indeed provision of adequate equipment for cargo operations at the terminals.
While stating that there was no gainsaying the fact that destination inspection trade policy of the federal government was primarily characterized by the ability of declarants to make honest and sincere declaration for customs purposes at the customs ports, Aniebonam however noted that other ancillaries thereto were basically for the purposes of trade facilitation which shall include automation facilities and risk management tools among others.
He observed that the inherent benefit shall include but not limited to safety of trade investments and customs licenses, enhanced revenue collection, trade facilitation, adequate collection of trade statistics, suppression of smuggling activities and other ancillaries thereto.
Dr. Aniebonam further argued that proper customs cargo examination shall enhance the statutory functions of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the area of quality assurance and illicit drug war respectively.
According to him,” It is to NAGAFF that most of the problems in our ports operations are man made which is avoidable. May we therefore encourage the government to ensure that all trade facilitation tools are adequately provided including but not limited to automation tools, free access roads to the ports and borders, trade data and simplification of processes and procedures and indeed provision of adequate equipment for cargo operations at the terminals.
“It is to us that the most critical point should be the political will and patriotism on the part of the agencies of the government to enforce regulations and trade laws. We must emphasize that government is all about the general welfare of the greater numbers. The need to bridge the gap between the people and the government cannot be overemphasized in a democracy if we must achieve national development.
“The expectation of NAGAFF is that the various agencies of the government assigned to port functions shall continue to engage the stakeholders at their various clusters of the organized trade groups. It is therefore unproductive wherein, most of the leaderships simply issue orders from their various offices without finding out the exact situation operationally and or feedbacks from the stakeholders equally.
“It shall be most appropriate to increase the productivity level of our port function wherein government is moved close to the people in partnership under the quagmire in our ports system. We must appreciate the concern of the management of Nigeria Customs Service, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Nigeria Shippers Council and indeed the National Drugs Law Agency of the Government for finding time to interface with stakeholders in their effort to ensure compliance to import and export regulation. And for others like NAFDAC it is our hope that they realize that in a modern day administration the mantra of public/private partnership is the way to go”.
Photo: (L-R) Founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam and the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.).
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