Following the assurances by the Comptroller General of Customs, Mr. Bashir Adewale Adeniyi to work towards achieving 48 hours cargo clearance at the nation’s seaports, the National President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Chief Tochukwu Ezisi has expressed optimism that 48 hours cargo clearance is achievable.
Ezisi who made his position known while fielding questions from journalists at the end of the three day Comptroller General of Customs, CGC’s Annual Conference in Lagos on Friday believed that with the speed with which the CGC was moving, 48 hours cargo clearance at the ports may be achieved by the end of next year.
He, however, added that even the Service did not achieve 48 hours cargo clearance, he was so sure that it would at least achieve 72 hours cargo clearance.
His words, “From the point of view of the CGC, I will tell you it’s achievable. He is really working towards that, it might not be immediate, the 48 hour cargo clearance is achievable with the way he is going, the formation. When we talked about multiple alerts, he called on the ACG in charge and centralized it in one stop shop.
“So, with that, when you have four alerts, you finish from CIU, you go to Valuation and from Valuation to Enforcement and so on, and you discover that one week is gone but if it is one stop shop, in one hour you are done with the alert and you proceed for your releasing.
“The 48 hours is very possible but with time, I believe by the end of next year, with the speed by which he is going, we should be able to achieve that. Even if we don’t achieve the 48 hours, I am sure we will achieve 72 hours.”
On multiple alerts, Ezisi who is also a member of the Governing Council of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN said, “I am very impressed (with the way he resolved it), he didn’t just say multiple alert will be addressed because the ACG in charge has talked about it and he has given directives to the DC Revenue of various commands to take charge. So, automatically, he has given order, it is not the issue of yet to come, he has given an order, so it has started with immediate effect.”
On his assessment of the just concluded CGC’s Conference 2023, the NAGAFF National President stated that for the first time in 13 years, the freight forwarders are happy because their issues are being discussed and decisions being taken right here, not “we will get back to you.”
“CG has shown some seriousness in his three points agenda. The first thing is to reactivate this CGC Conference after 13 years, it is not an easy thing. I applaud him for that and we look forward to more robust engaging conferences. In this one, there are issues but I don’t blame them, it’s expected, they will correct it as the time goes on.”
Recall that the CGC’s conference last held in 2013 at Katsina State under the leadership of the then Comptroller General of Customs, Late Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi making it 10 years since it was last held. Throughout the eight years tenure of Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.) as the Comptroller General of Customs, the annual ritual did not hold hence industry watchers believed that it is no mean feat for the present Comptroller General of Customs, Mr. Bashir Adewale Adeniyi who assumed office barely six months ago to put the conference which was well attended by stakeholders within and outside Lagos.
The theme of this year’s Comptroller General of Customs Annual Conference is, “Leveraging Data Analytics For Secure And Efficient Trade Facilitation In Customs Operations.”
Photo: Chief Tochukwu Ezisi, National President of NAGAFF addressing the media at the end of the CGC’s conference in Lagos Friday.
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