The National President, Association of Nigerian Licen \ed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Prince OlayiwolaShittu has called on the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) to organize periodic trainings for Licensed Customs Agents in the maritime industry to keep them abreast of their operations and activities.
Shittu who was speaking on the sideline of the stakeholders’ forum organized by SON for maritime industry in Lagos last week said that such trainings would enable them to know their left from their right with regard to standards.
According to him,” the training is not like sending us to school for two, three years or four years, no! It is like doing a seminar and asking us to participate, taking us through all the gamut, we would be helping them because our people will now be more knowledgeable as per the role of SON in standards”.
“And it is not only SON, the customs is giving us training now and our people are actually saying that they never know what they know now. So, all agencies should offer training because we are the interface between the government and the agencies and the importers who bring in these consignments”.
“So, if you as the intermediary do not know your right from your left, you are either falling victim of the importer or you are yourself part of the problem. That is was why you see that ANLCAwill continue to train and train including foreign trainings, that is the only way you will be able to understand where these agencies are going|”.
While underscoring the importance of training, he recalled that in America, every customs broker must sit for an examination twice a year otherwise such a broker would not practice.
He regretted that here in Nigeria, when you call people to come and sit down and be trained free of charge, they would prefer to sit around the ports doing nothing wondering why one would go to the port when such a person has no job to do at the ports.
“The port area should not be a resting place, the port area should not be a congregation area, it is not a social place. It is a place strictly for business, if you don’t have any job there, don’t go”.
“When the automation now start whereby some of those things they run around to do in the ports are now automated, you see less people in the ports”, he said.
On the #20,000 initially penciled down by SON as payable for the new Pre-Shipment Inspection of vehicles destined for Nigeria, he said that the plan had been suspended at a meeting between ANLCA and SON.
He said,” it was as a result of what we discovered, that based on our advocacy not threat, they knew that they had been upstaged and they cannot introduce that for now. So, be assured that that one has been suspended”.