•But you’re obstructing 100% Cargo Examinations –Customs
The Association of Nigeria Customs Licensed Agents (ANLCA) has accused the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) of promoting capital flight and creating unemployment in Nigeria by going against set down rules to license foreign companies to do clearing of cargoes in the Nigerian port industry, a function reserved for Nigerians alone.
Vice President of ANLCA, Dr Kayode Farinto raised the alarm during a recent National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association in Lagos. Dr Farinto who represented the National President, Iju Tony Nwabunike in the NEC meeting during his opening address alleged that jobs meant for Nigerians have been made to be taken over by foreigners by the Nigeria Customs Service.
He specifically fingered transnational shipping conglomerates, Maerskline and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) of floating Clearing firms to usurp jobs meant for Nigerian Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders.
Dr Farinto said: “It is no longer news that foreigners have taken over this specialized aspect of the logistics chain under the guise of rendering door -to-door service and as we speak now, all project cargoes have been taken over by these foreigners and no government policy seems to be protecting our profession.
“Maerskline, a shipping line has registered a Clearing outfit called Damco Logistics Limited, while MSC have also been licensed by the Board of Customs to practice Customs brokerage with the name Medlog Logistics Services Limited.”
To this end, the younger freight forwarders/ Customs Brokers are losing their jobs, while the older ones do not have anything doing lately, Farinto alleges. He further called on the Federal Government to come out with an open policy on the African Continental Free Trade Area (Af- CFTA), especially on the government agency that will issue certificate of origin for Nigeria.
He also described the Nigeria’s index rating in the logistics performance as being very low and called on the government to look into it.
According to Dr Farinto, there is urgent need for the government to give palliatives to Terminal Operators in the Nigeria seaport to mitigate the high cost of their operations, saying if something is not done urgently, price increment will soon be slammed by Terminal Operators on Nigerian shippers in no distance time.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has reported the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) to the National Assembly House Committee on Customs and Excise over alleged obstruction of the 100% Physical Examinations of all imported cargoes.
According to Dr Farinto, Customs reported the association to the House Committee on Customs accusing them of obstructing physical examinations of imported goods policy adopted by the Col. Hameed Ali-led management of the Nigeria Customs Service.
He said: “We received a letter on the above subject matter from the House of Representatives, Committee on Customs and Excise, where the present management team of Nigeria Customs has alleged that members of our association particularly the executives have been obstructing their men from conducting 100 per cent physical examinations on cargoes in the ports.”