…Declares war against culprits
The 100% Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF has decried the informants at the nation’s seaports whose activities lately are threatening the corporate existence of the freight forwarders.
This is even as the body has declared war against those informants who it said specialized in giving false information about consignments already cleared at the ports to the authorities thereby delaying quick exit of the consignments from the port which in turn incurs huge amounts in demurrage for both the importers and their agents.
Speaking in a press briefing on Thursday, the National Coordinator of the 100% Compliance Team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko explained that those informants specialized in picking up container numbers even before one captures that container and send it to the Nigeria Customs Service headquarters in Abuja through the PSO to the Comptroller General of Customs who would now direct the Customs Area Controller of the concerned command through the Controller, Federal Operations Unit in which the command is domiciled to reposition the container for another round of examination.
While explaining that the Team was not disturbed by the information so divulged to the authorities by those informants provided they were correct, Tanko, however, insisted that instead of taking the information all the way to Abuja, such information could as well be passed to the Customs Area Controller of the affected command for quick resolution.
He said, “You have an information, why can’t you go directly to the Area Controller of that command? Send that information to him, I believe that the Area Controller has been trusted by the people at Abuja, that is why they posted him to that command. That Area Controller has every right to use his officers and machineries to reposition that container for examination and find out whether that information is true or not. If it is true, the one that is supposed to be seized, will be seized and the one that is supposed to be raised demand notice on, you go ahead and do that.
“But in this case, the PSO will send the information to the Controller FOU and the Controller FOU will in turn send the information to Controller Apapa or Tincan as the case may be and may be they have earlier on released the container, they will be forced to reposition the container for examination and when they have reposition the container for examination, they could have taken a decision.
“Now, they have examined the container and see that the man declared correctly, the Area Controller of the command would still have no power to ask the man to go. He will have to go through the Controller FOU and the FOU will insist on coming over to examine the container and after the examination, they will now take the report back to Abuja and Abuja will now decide whether to allow the container to go or not. By that time, two or three weeks is gone and demurrage both from shipping and terminal operators have well accumulated.
“Who is to pay all these demurrage that have accumulated? What we are saying is that if there’s any information regarding any container, let the Area Controller in charge of that command be given that information. That is what we are appealing so that decision will be taken so fast. The cargo will leave the port in good time instead of us paying demurrage.
“Some of these containers have been examined and information given about it were found to be false. Who is going to pay all these demurrage that have accumulated within the period? Nobody! The informant that gave the information has nothing to lose, the officers that examined the container and found nothing have nothing to lose. It is only the agent and the importer that will pay the demurrage. Nothing concerns the terminal operator and the shipping company, you must pay their demurrage.”
The National Coordinator who disclosed that the Team had declared war against informants revealed that the team had discovered one of the culprits (name withheld by this reporter) who said was one of the leaders of the informants.
“He has boys everywhere, we have communicated with him and he denied the allegation but we have concrete evidence that he is one of the leaders of the informants that destroyed many people. In fact, he made a lot of people go bankrupt because most of these people borrowed money from the bank. Information at my disposal said that some people even ended up in prison. He has really destroyed a lot of people.
“We have declared war against informants. When we catch those informants, they will know the next action that we will take. Let’s catch one first and he will tell us where he gets his information and who he gives the information to. But as it is now, we have not caught the person.
“I believe that whosoever will be this informant, must have a serious connection with the shipping companies and the shippers but we are going to get there and we are going to get the person. But for today being the 1st day of December, 2022, we have declared war against informants”, he stated.
Photo: Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, National Coordinator, NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team.
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