The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has accused the leadership of the Concerned Accredited Freight forwarders’ Associations (CAFFA) of seeking to be noticed by the new Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali.
The National Publicity Secretary of ANLCA, Dr. Kayode Farinto who made this position known in a press release he issued on Sunday a copy of which was obtained by Primetime Reporters however warned the CGC to keep an arms-length from the group “before they damage your image and start shouting to your tent oh Israel”.
Farinto who was reacting to a press release issued by CAFFA on Friday where it (ANLCA) was accused of blowing hot and cold agreed with CAFFA adding ANLCA would blow hot when her members suffer unnecessarily and would blow cold when her members rights were protected and operate in the ports without any hindrance in the course of their daily operations according to international best practices.
According to him,” ANLCA’s position is that, having met the CGC and told him the various challenges that licensed customs agents face in the course of our operations, let us give Rtd. Col Ali a chance to settle down to work. The CGC is in the right position to fix these Challenges faced by customs agents but the Freight forwarders need to look elsewhere like the CRFFN (council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria) or better still wait for the Federal Government to name the Transport Minister to assist them fix their own problems since we do not operate on the same pedestal. Customs agents are regulated by CEMA (Customs and Excise Management Act) while freight forwarders are regulated by the Act 17 of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN).
“The only thing that ANLCA doesn’t do is that she does not blackmail. Available records will attest to this fact. It is erroneous to say this against the most democratic Customs brokers association. ANLCA’s membership cuts across every geographical location of this Country”.
On the administration of the former Comptroller-General of Customs, Alhaji Dr. Dikko Inde Abdullahi, Farinto disclosed that the association gave Dr Dikko Inde’s administration good cooperation during her six year stay as the CGC based on its belief in his six points agenda namely; capacity building, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), co -ordination, integrity, collaboration with the stakeholders and welfare of his officers adding that every right thinking Nigerians would agree that Dikko had put in his best for the service and the nation.
He added that even the new CGC attested to the fact that Dikko did his best in most of the customs formation he has visited saying that he had surpassed the records of his predecessors.
“ANLCA is not however surprised that CAFFA had forgotten so easily by denying Dr. Dikko, as if they have never applauded his administration. The CAFFA’s submission reminds one of Dr. Ruben Abati”s submission on Chief Edwin Clark’s denial of Good luck Jonathan’s government. Abati said on the Saturday Nation that it was too early hence we are also not surprised at this. These are gullible sets of people that call themselves leaders and they want to romance with any government in power. What they are doing is just to make the new CGC notice them but we advice that the CGC keeps them at arms length before they will do damage to his image and start shouting to your tent Oh Israel.
“The naming of our national secretariat was in recognition of the preponderance role Dr. Dikko has played in the maritime industry in general and Nigeria customs service in particular, particularly by ensuring that the course of cargo clearance in our sea ports were modernized according to United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and who ever thinks that ANLCA is planning to change this name is living in illusion because history will judge everyone”, he added.
The ANLCA NPS further stated that the association’s position was clear on certain issues like the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), which it agreed was a successful innovation brought by Dikko’s administration pointing out that ANLCA’s position was that once PAAR had been issued, it should not be subjected to any query on account of Value but can be queried on wrong classification or if excess quantity is discovered during examination.
He also maintained that ANLCA wished Dr. Dikko well in his entire endeavour when it became evidently clear that he was to leave saying,” we have never castigated him and will never do”.
He continued,” When Comptroller Tajuden Olanrewaju was stoned, it was ANLCA’s chapter Chairman that investigated and discovered that this dastardly act was perpetrated by unknown freight forwarders because every licensed customs agents that are members of our great association are identify by our biometric identity card which is ANLCA’s innovation to rid the ports and land borders of miscreant. I challenge the writer to name any member of ANLCA involved in this.
“Tincan Island Container Terminal (TICT) was picketed by our chapter executives due to her incapacitation to position containers for examination as and when due and her continually habit of charging our members on public holidays, which is tantamount to fraudulent activity, i.e. to charge storage for services not rendered and all efforts to make them see reason proved abortive.
“The issue of the 100KVA generator was a gift from the DG of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) as her Corporate Social Responsibility and it has not stopped us from condemning any wrong activity by them.
“The issue of licensing regulation has been over flogged because we have said time without number that the CEMA empowers NCS to license only corporate body and not individual freight forwarder that can bolt away. Licensing the corporate body has given vicarious liability respond end, which is pertinent. If the CAFFA members continue this way, I won’t hesitate to mention all their members that have been issued with Customs licenses but lost it due to fraudulent activities which ranged from smuggling, duty evasion etc.
“Finally, I want to advise CAFFA members to concern themselves with regulating freight forwarders that are their members and leave Rtd. Col. Ali to know what to do about CRFFN issue. He may decide not to be interested in their activities after all they are customs agent but have affinity with transport ministry.
“On POF, this issue is in court and should be left for the court to determine. All I can say is that, ANLCA is ready to separate the boys from the men. We implore our respected members to ignore this so called CAFFA even though they have their nuisance value but we wouldn’t want to be distracted”.
Farinto opined that it was time the writer who hide under the cover of CAFFA be unmasked as according to him,” The piece reminds me of the biblical phrase that says, ‘this is a hand of Esau but a voice of Jacob because who else writes and thinks like this if not the only rabble rouser we have in the industry?”
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