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Freight forwarders set up compliance team to check corruption at seaports

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The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Western Zone, has begun a strategic arrangement to check corruption, promote compliance, and facilitate trade at Nigerian seaports.

To this end, NAGAFF has inaugurated a Presidential Compliance Team, an initiative aimed at partnering with the Federal Government in ensuring that corrupt practices militating against trade facilitation are stamped out of the ports.

Speaking on the development, Vice President of NAGAFF, Western Zone, Tanko Ibrahim, also the team leader, said the team, among others, will ensure that importers make correct declarations for Customs purpose, while also ameliorating challenges faced by freight forwarders with shipping companies and terminal operators.

The team, according to him, would also abolish the use of camp boys by officers of Nigeria Customs Service, put an end to excessive sampling of imported products by agencies at the ports, and bring about a permanent solution to the traffic gridlock at the ports.

Tanko assured that NAGAFF members are ready to comply with government regulations, but that Customs officers, shipping companies, terminal operators must also do the needful by being compliant themselves to promote good practices at the port.

He however assured that the team is not out to witch-hunt any operator, saying: “We are not here to witch-hunt anybody; we are here to do what the law says. We will start with our importers; every importer should do 100 per cent declaration. Secondly, we the freight forwarders, it is our duty to ensure that all our cargoes have been examined by the Customs Service, we are tired of being slaves to government agencies.

“Today, we are just like their slaves to shipping companies and terminal operators, we are tired of this. We have agreed now and we are ready to comply.

“Our duty is not Customs alone, people think we are here to face Customs; it extends to shipping companies, terminal operators, and other government agencies. If you don’t comply, then we would do the needful. I want everybody to understand that we are not alone, the compliance team is not alone, we attached ourselves with government, and they are ready to hear from us,” he said.


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