Cargo blocking: NAGAFF drums support for Maritime Police Command


…wants port users to comply with trade regulations

Against the backdrop of calls in some quarters for officials of the Maritime Police Command to discontinue interrupting free flow of cargo from the nation’s seaports, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has called on port users to not to raise alarm whenever their cargo is intercepted or blocked at the terminals by the Maritime Police Command but rather submit themselves for scrutiny once there is any cause for Police to show interest in any cargo.

The National President of NAGAFF, Chief Increase Uche who gave this advice in Lagos on Friday while speaking with newsmen said that although nobody would support any interference with movement of cargo properly cleared and exited from the ports, however, the fact still remained that the Police have the duty to protect lives and also to put a check most especially when they have classified information.

Uche posited that the way it was currently, the Maritime Police Command under the AIG Maritime receives cargo manifest adding that the intervention of the Police was very critical knowing that no system was fool proof, more so as some of those officers had already worked in the port.

“So, it is not surprising to some of us when they place some of the alerts, suspecting foul play in some of the containers. The worst aspect of the entire scenario is that when they place that order and go for examination, they must get something. So, what we have been advising our members is to ensure that they conform with trade rules because non-compliance to trade rules will always raise that suspicion.

“Even at the port today, we know that the role of Police is to observe cargo examination not to partake in examination and make sure that there is orderliness. So, if at all an order is coming from above that a certain containers is suspected and they put a hold, I think for any professional freight forwarder or a genuine port user, it shouldn’t alarm the person. What you should do is to submit yourself, Police is to make protection. For us to start raising alarm that the Police is doing customs job at the same time is not proper because even the role of Police supersedes the one of customs because in the event that there are issues that involve customs, Police can as well invite customs to take statement”, he said.

He recalled that the association had about three years ago made a case for the Police authorities to streamline the operation of it various commands and avoid situations where Police commands like Alagbon, Zone 2, Kam Salem House and some other Police formations within the Lagos Metropolis interrupt cargo movement saying that while making the case, there was no time they suggested that Police do not have the right to intercept suspected cargo.

“But what we requested was that they should streamline their operations and they heard us, they followed up and streamlined the operation and we have a letter as at last year that they sent to us saying that right now, any alert on a cargo or Police intervention, should be handled by the Maritime Police command and that if any other Police formation have any issue, observation or criminal investigation that they want to carry out, that they should channel it through the Maritime Police Command which is what is currently going on.

“There is no other Police formation or command that intervenes or put alert or block bill of lading at shipping companies or even at the terminals if not from the Maritime Police which means it has been streamlined. So, if at all a port user is carrying out his legitimate business in the port without having any skeleton in his cupboard, I don’t think there is any fear when Police intervenes. Once there is any issue that has to do with stoppage, just let him go and sort it out, if it requires examination, you allow them to carry out the examination; the bottom line is providing security so that the insecurity in the country will be put to check.

“We are not against Police intervening, so, any group that is saying that the Police are doing the wrong thing should then submit itself for scrutiny. Once there is any course for Police to say that they are interested in any cargo, it shouldn’t cause any alarm”, he submitted.

Send your news, press releases/articles to Also, follow us on Twitter @reportersinfo and on Facebook on or call the editor on 07030661526, 08053908817.


1 Comment

  1. Globally the ports are designated as Customs Port and it behoves Nigeria through Nigeria Customs Service as a member and signatory to WCO and virtually all other maritime related treaties obsolete or new to conform to such treaties and ensure best practices in trade facilitation without which it will remain the butt of comic jokes amongst maritime nations .
    Nigeria Customs as matter of emergency must have functional scanners across our ports and other gateways in conformity with the Ease of Doing Business policy of this Government .
    Revenue set target for Nigeria Customs is anti trade facilitation that has led to huge loss of custom duty and port related revenue , job loss and cargo diversion to neighbouring ECOWAS PORTS and has as well compelled Nigeria Customs to strangulate the remaining importers via Government policy summersault and outrageous customs duty.
    All these are worsened by a desperate legion of security agents in our ports whose only interest is their private pocket revenue target,having bought their posting to the ports and no longer answerable to anyone including those that posted them,they extort by intimidation with phantom security report and a times threat of arrest,all this makes one wonder if anyone is indeed in charge.
    The Nigerian Police must not jus do their job but be seen to have done so for the overall security of our nation and based purely on concise intelligence as every second counts in shipping and port demurrage all as a result of intent to arm twist and extort .
    lt is therefore proper and fit for importers/customs agents to be indemnified against wrong information and payment of attendant accrued demurrage,this will serve as a deterrent to overzealous security agents and their collaborating informants.
    The leadership of all the Freight Forwarding Associations must rise and champion this cause and not be seen to collude and egg the extortionists on.
    The rising cargo thru put and dwell time ,looming congestion and demurrage worsened by traffic gridlock has aggravated the temperament of truckers (many of whom have died inside their trucks after weeks on que )
    and agents hence the need for the immediate enforcement of Ease of Doing Business at the ports to avert a spontaneous protest that may lead to an unprecedented anarchy at our ports.
    Some people have no business being at the ports and must be flushed out.

Leave A Reply