Mr. Achike Molokwu (ANLCA)
They should be screened before allowing them into the ports; they should be reduced to a minimum size. I understand that the minister issued NPA lists of authorized agencies to be in the ports, but when you go there the NPA cannot monitor it; many agencies have been in the ports. What is the job of Quarantine Services in the ports; if there is any problem they will write and you settle with them, clearing agents have no business with them. As SON is doing now, they will come take the same and go when you have problem they will call you at the office and if your documents are not complete they will take your container to their office and they are not staying at the ports.
Mr. Nnadi Ugochukwu (NAGAFF)
All agencies should be taken out of the ports; there is no reason why any other government agency should be in the ports. For example have you ever heard that DSS discover gun in the ports on the other way round, it has always been that customs discovered and invited the other agencies The other agencies are only here to compound trade and increase the cost of doing business; all other agencies of the government should be taken out of the ports apart from the customs. So when they are needed they should be invited to take charge of whatever that is happening.
Mr. Paul Ndibe (CILT)
It depends on if the government has put in place structures that will seamlessly execute what these agencies are at the port for. But there is no way the government can remove Customs, NAFDAC, SON and some sensitive agencies. There will be high importation of arms drugs and other harmful things into the country if they are not properly checked and identified by these agencies. So it all depends. The critical thing is to streamline their operations so that they will not constitute problems to the economy, instead of aiding the economy they now constitute problems. If you now streamline the operations and now deploy certain degree of technology, then you don’t need all these. Physical inspection at the ports might be knocked out if you have an electronic way of doing this having one single window of doing things will eliminate having so many transactions on one matter. And if you can streamline that, then it can be possible to ban the agencies if there is an electronic way of scanning and knowing what the contents are and they are honest enough to make true declaration and honestly pay the fees accompanying them then all these agencies will be banned.
Dr. Frank Ukor (AREFFN)
Most of them have already been removed, the only ones there are those that have very relevant works to do, most of them have a role to play and I don’t think there is any need to remove let them stay where they are. It is only those that have a very vital role to play that are there like; the SON, NAFDAC amongst others, these are the ones that are supposed to be there. If we have single window, where all these things can be done at once, it will be nice, but if want them to go back to their offices, cargo clearing takes longer time.. So let the ones that have something to do at the ports stay so that they can make cargo clearance very effective.
Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa (Vice Chairman Dry Cargo Section, NARTO)
Some of the agencies are important, but what I think they’ve failed to do is to bring all these agencies under a single window platform, of course some of them are constituting nuisance, but if we can have them all under a single window platform, I believe this will be better rather than banning them.
Obinna Okafor (Chairman NAGAFF Ikorodu)
I think they are very important in the process of clearing of goods , what I think the government should do is to enforce the single window platform and also ensure that there is no physical interference in the clearance of goods at the port. I think all of the agencies are important and they all have their roles to play.
Chief Remi Ogungbemi (AMATO)
They are important and I don’t think government should ban them; there is need for checks and balances, but my concern is that government should ensure that after any agency that examined a cargo and released the goods and later found some discrepancy in declaration, they should hold the agency involved in the clearance of this goods and not the owner of the truck.
Stanley Ezenga (PRO, NAGAFF)
NAGAFF is in support that those agencies should be. I think calling for their disbandment will be in bad faith, they should stay and compliment the job of Customs. In carrying out the activities at the port you will agree with me that there is need for checks and balances.