As the debate on what is responsible for non compliance to trade procedures rages on, the National President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Chief Eugene Nweke, has come out to make case for the Freight Forwarders and agents who he said were often neglected by the government and its agencies in the chain of trade in the ports.
Speaking in his paper presentation during the recently concluded 2nd Global trade Compliance Summit organized by the Multimix Academy in Lagos said that freight forwarders cannot help but cut corners in carrying out cargo clearance procedures at the nation’s ports more so as the, “corrupt and bureaucratic nature” of the port environment brings out the worst in freight forwarders.
Accoring to him, “If a system is not properly structured; if there is corruption in the system, then the freight forwarder would also want to find a way of bending the rules. If there is cumbersome procedure on the part of regulatory agencies and this procedure is making a freight forwarder to incur so much demurrage for what he did not bargain for, the freight forwarder may be tempted to look for other alternatives”.
Nweke noted that until the practice of bureaucracy and extortion by the government agencies operating in the ports, who want to cut their own individual pounds of flesh from the freight forwarders was eliminated, agents would have no choice but to bend the rules.
He said that a freight forwarders priority was to satisfy his clients and would go to great lengths to maintain their patronage.
“He wants to perform, to satisfy his clients. Who are his clients? It could be an importer, manufacturer or importer. He is under contract to perform. A freight forwarder is time conscious because he is under contract to ensure that he delivers his clients’ goods on time,” he said.
The NAGAFF boss therefore called on the government and its agencies to streamline procedures at the port and take step s towards arresting the culture of impunity in the ports so as to facilitate trade and create room for a seamless exit of goods from the ports.