...Laments 99% of project cargoes snatched by foreigners
The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has lampooned the founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF); Dr Boniface Aniebonam for allegedly disparaging ANLCA over the collection of Practitioners Operations Fee (POF) by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN)
Speaking with journalists at the CRFFN office in Marina Lagos recently, Vice Chairman of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto alleged that Dr Aniebonam had spoken on a radio programme on Friday last week where he condemned ANLCA's leadership for not living up to expectation.
Farinto advised the NAGAFF Founder to keep his advice to himself and for his members, saying that ANLCA remains a senior partner to NAGAFF.
He also said that the Federal Government should come up with an indigenization Act where non-Nigerians would be restricted from practicing custom brokerage.
The association alleged that 99% of project cargoes have been taken over by Lebanese and Indians.
Speaking, he said: "I heard Dr. Aniebonam on radio last week attacking ANLCA on the issue of CRFFN that we have not done anything, but there are things that we are doing underneath that we don't need to start making noise, the one that deserves public knowledge, we invite the journalists"
"I need to say that Dr. Aniebonam should confine his thoughts or whatever is his opinion to his own association, because ANLCA is a senior partner, whether you like it or not you cannot compare ANLCA with ANLCA"
"At our own end, we are having a double jeopardy, anybody can be a freight forwarder, you just register with Corporate Affairs for N7,000.
This year now, I have renewed my license with N250,000 with the Board of Nigeria Customs Service, and at every port, I pay N15,000 for me to operate there, so I am a professional"
"The fact that we are just muddled up by the CRFFN Act does not mean that we should not separate the boys from the men"
"ANLCA is a senior partner to NAGAFF, so if he wants to give advise, let him give it to his own members. I have a special respect for him, he is my very good friend, but when it comes to disparaging ANLCA, we will not take it from anybody"
Speaking further on the sharing formula that was reeled out by the CRFFN which stipulates that 35% of the proceeds should be given back to the declarant, Farinto faulted Aniebonam's stand that an individual should be the declarant receiving the money and not an agency.
He said that Nigeria have not matured to the level whereby an individual would be allowed to be a declarant.
"An individual cannot be a declarant, but a corporate body is the declarant, we all know what the law says, by virtue of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Section 154, it defines who a declarant is"
"Any association that wants to look for money should do so within their members, they should stop seeing POF as a source of revenue.
The money should be given to the agency that makes the declaration, and it is through the association"
The ANLCA vice president urged Federal government to come up with a decree or indigenization Act where foreigners would not be able to practice Customs brokerage in Nigeria.
He said that if this is done, it would create 250,000 jobs for Nigerians.
He lamented that foreigners are being allowed to clear cargoes at Nigerian ports and that was why there is increase in importation of psychotic drugs, arms and ammunition being cleared from the ports.