…Says absences of the agencies a threat to the ease of doing business
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has called for the return of all relevant regulatory government agencies to the ports to help save the nation from importation of fake and adulterated drugs into the Country.
The Founder of NAGAFF; Dr Boniface Aniebonam who made the call while briefing newsmen in Lagos last week, said the return of the agencies would also aid trade facilitation as well as save major stakeholders the trauma of tracking those agencies during cargo clearance processes.
He argued that trade facilitation can only be effective when agencies come together at the port and carryout examinations at the same time.
The agencies include: Standard Organisation of Nigeria ( SON ), National Agency for Food Drugs Administration And Control ( NAFDAC ), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency ( NDLEA ), Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service ( NAQS ), amongst others.
He also added that inviting them to the port when the need arises is not working as their unofficial presence at the port has caused problems.
The NAGAFF founder accused them of being in the habit of stopping goods already cleared at the ports, and described their actions as a 'cog in the wheel of progress' as far as trade facilitation is concerned.
"We are tired that after clearing our goods at the ports, it is being intercepted by FOU Or SON. We cannot continue to lose our investments. When Customs examiners and find anything that pertains to an Agency, that Agency should follow the container to the warehouse of the importer", he opined.
Dr Aniebonam also pointed out that the primary concern of a freight forwarder is the delivery of the container to the warehouse of the client in good time and at a reasonable cost in utmost condition, adding that the present situation is not helping freight forwarding business while posing a big threat to the government policy of Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria.
According to him, the concept of the Ease of Doing Business by the federal government is not targeted at unauthorized legislation rather towards simplification of processes and procedures and removal of all human barrier elements arising from corrupt acts and practices that would breach the standing rules, regulations and the Law.
"The other aspect shall be, provision of physical infrastructures and enabling tools of trade facilitation. The end point should be the will of Government to enforce regulations and statutory laws. Consequently, it implies that Government Agencies and parastals, stakeholders bolt not limited to importers, exporters, manufacturers and all other service providers must key into Ease of Doing Business"
He expressed surprise at the inability of NAFDAC Director General to visit critical Stakeholders at the ports to give her true situation on ground.
He advised the Secretariat of Presidential Environmental Business Enabling Council (PEBEC ) to directly engage the stakeholders and sustain it's sensitization programme as well as intensify it's monitoring and Data collection activities.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government recently released lists of accredited government agencies at the Nigerian Ports excluding Standard Organisations of Nigeria ( SON ) and few others. However, the National Assembly on their part, directed SON to return to the ports.