A freight forwarder, Mr. Godfrey Emeka Nwosu has called on the acting Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS Wale Adeniyi to consider training of the licensed customs agents and by extension all freight forwarders operating at the nation’s seaport in other to bring them at par with the personnel of the service whom he said have taken steps ahead in terms of training.
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos recently, Nwosu pointed out that the personnel of NCS had overtaken the customs agents in knowledge and understanding of the processes and procedures of international trade as a result of their constant exposure to training and retraining programmes lined up for them by the service which is what he said the freight forwarders were lacking.
According to him, “Before now, Customs were extending training to freight forwarders, that was under Dikko (Inde Abdullahi) for which I am a beneficiary and I know what we learnt then. But since then, who has trained the freight forwarders? Thank God for the coming of Wale, maybe, he will go back to the good old days because customs has been busy training her personnel, churning them out.
“However, one thing the customs has not considered is, these crop of officers you are churning out, who are they going to face? What level of knowledge do those they are going to face have as it concern customs administration? You have gone to train your personnel up to the global standard, we that they are coming to face, where are we? What is our knowledge of the current happenings?
“We are quietly implementing automation of the ports by encouraging less human contact. If you look at the environment, you will see that the large population you used to see at the ports is reducing. Recently, they said licenses will now go for five years before renewal, what about the cost of getting those licenses? Aside from his schedule, Wale has to look into things that are going beyond what we used to do before.”
“The other day, they (customs) turned out over five hundred of them at Gwagwalada, here they turned out over four hundred from Ikeja, the same thing from Kano. Where are they going to work? Airport, seaport or border stations or excise. Who are they going to meet? Is it not me and my fellow freight forwarders?
“Customs should consider training their agents and freight forwarders to be at par with her personnel otherwise there is going to be casualties because those boys are coming out with hot brains. They will pick up these documents, they will look at and when they will start pointing out errors, I will be standing at the other side of the table confused because I won’t see it the way they see it. Why? My knowledge is far below where he has gotten to and the reasons why he is asking me what he is asking me, I don’t know”, he submitted.
Photo: Mr. Wale Adeniyi, Acting Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.
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