The Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN); Barrister Samuel Nwakohu has commended the Comptroller General of Custom; Col Hameed Ali(rtd) for what he described as the efforts by the Customs boss to entrench sanity in the nation’s ports in order to guarantee a friendly and healthy business environment.
The CRFFN boss gave the commendation in response to the directive of the Comptroller General (CG)of Customs on the presence of some Customs formations in the ports in Lagos.
Barrister Nwakohu acknowledged that the CG’s directive led to the immediate withdrawal of Customs Task Force and Special Teams from Lagos ports.
Shipping Position Daily recalls that, there were protests by freight forwarders against some customs taskforces and special team recently deployed from Customs Headquarters in Abuja to inspect third party cargoes at the ports, and whose acts were said to have led to delays in cargo clearance and alleged payment of exorbitant demurrage by freight forwarders.
Reacting to the withdrawal, the CRFFN boss applauded the collaborative efforts of the Customs with that of the Council, which he said led to the withdrawals, adding that the move would enhance efficient service delivery in the ports and in line with the Presidential order on Ease of Doing Business.
Shipping Position Daily recalls that a fortnight ago, some aggrieved freight forwarders under the aegis of Group of Concerned Freight Forwarders had issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Federal Government to address the challenges militating against cargo clearance or else they will shut down the Western Port.
The threat informed the intervention of the CRFFN, whose Registrar called for a meeting with the aggrieved practitioners, and urged them to stay action on the planned strike with the assurance of addressing the challenges with the appropriate quarters within 14 working days.
At the meeting with the CRFFN boss, the group had lamented the presence of multiple customs check points by different formations of the Nigeria Customs service at the nation seaports, leading to delays in cargo clearance and exorbitant payment of demurrage.
Further responding to the withdrawal of the ‘offending’ customs formations, the CRFFN Registrar further expressed his appreciation to the freight forwarders for their patience and re-affirmed the readiness of the CRFFN as the practitioners’ regulatory body to advance the course of freight forwarders.