As the year 2018 gradually takes off, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has listed a number of areas it would want the federal government to pay attention to if it must get the nation’s maritime industry right.
One of the areas according to the National President of NAGAFF, Chief Increase Uche included that the National Assembly should complete action on the bill for amendment of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Act which commenced last year as well as other important maritime bills like the Cabotage Act amendment bill, the ports and harbor bill and the inland waterways bill.
Uche added that the first thing government must do was to get those bills passed as there was no way any organization can function without law guiding it even as he noted that some of those laws were obsolete.
He said,” Government as we are saying should look at issue of training because if CRFFN is not working, if freight forwarders are not properly trained because we are the major actors in the industry, so, if we are not recognized, if they allow us to continue to perch in our country whereby government will not bring us in when issue concerning the movement of international cargo, when they discuss it and freight forwarders of Nigerian extraction are not included but only foreigners, then they will never get it right for the sector”.
The NAGAFF boss advised that government should sit up, look at its policies as according to him, there were some of its policies that were not helpful particularly the monetary policies, ban on the 41 items and some other policies that forced people to go into heinous crimes which starts from opening of Form M where somebody would start from declaring the wrong item, at the end of the day, government revenue was denied, proper record of import would not be properly captured.
“There are lots of things we want government to do for us like the repair of the port access roads, make sure that the ports are connected by rail, that is to make the inland transport system to be efficient.
“The issue has been that all concentration has been on the Lagos ports, government should also look at what is happening at the eastern ports, develop infrastructure that are in the east so that they stop getting decayed. The ports we are seeing now, they are all river ports, so we need a hub port with deep draught, even if we secure one like the one of Ibaka, it will help a lot in reducing freight charges, save us cost even as we discuss the issue of security.
“We advise that they build on what they did last year so that we can advance the course of the economy to prosperity”, he counseled.
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