NAGAFF fires back at Nicol, Shippers’ Association over SON return to seaports comment


…Says Nicol, his executives are freight forwarders, not shippers

For daring to describe its call on the federal government to approve the return of the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) to the nation’s seaports as unfortunate, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has replied the Shippers’ Association Lagos State and its President, Rev. Dr. Jonathan Nicol.

It will be recalled that Primetime Reporters broke the news on Tuesday after it reported that Shippers’ Association through its President, Jonathan Nicol frowned at the call by NAGAFF for SON to be returned to the nation’s seaports adding that the association was pained more by the fact that the associations that were supposed to protect the shippers were the ones calling for the return of SON to the ports.

Nicol added that SON should not be allowed to return to the ports as according to him, the Nigeria Customs Service was well equipped to handle the functions of SON.

But in a swift reaction, the Head, Special Duties Headquarters of NAGAFF, Rev. Emmanuel Agubanze described the association’s position on the matter as weak saying that NAGAFF may not immediately react to Nicole led Lagos Shippers’ Association for obvious reasons even as he added that the association may respond to avoidable reaction of Shippers’ Association Lagos State against it in due course.

He said,” At the moment, we in NAGAFF know Nicole and his executives as freight forwarders. We are not aware that they are shippers and for so long it is on record that Nicole have been on that position as their President for over ten year. We wonder the constitution they may be operating. We also may remind us that the various states of the federation including Abuja have shippers association.  We in NAGAFF are wondering the noise from Nicole who we know is a freight forwarder for years.

“When the real shippers react we shall state our reasons in perspective why SON should return to the ports to save lives. At the moment let it be on record that matters of non-compliance to import regulations is one of the greatest problems in our ports operations and management occasioned by corruption.  If Nicole is a real shipper, we shall reveal what he is worried about SON returning to the ports. Concealment, false declaration, wrong description of imports etc., defers NICIS relevance in e-commerce of the NCS engagement on matters of trade facilitation”.

He observed that if Nicole and his alleged Shippers’ Association were real, they should have been able to stop the arrest of containers properly cleared out customs control along the city roads of Lagos and Federal highways by law enforcement agents.

“Nicole may wish not to provoke NAGAFF if he deserves honor and respect from freight forwarders who are ongoing avoidable hardship along the city roads delivering cargo to the real shippers’ warehouses as the final destination”, he warned.

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