The founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF);Dr Boniface Aniebonam has called on freight forwarders to partner with the government to ensure maximum trade compliance.
Aniebonam said this, in a chat with newsmen on Friday during the official unveiling of the NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team in Apapa.
Aniebonam however reiterated the need for proper enlightenment of freight forwarders in other to educate them on the workings of the ports.
"We must partner with the government to build a better Nigeria, this is the tenet of democracy, and there is nothing that said we should make our life through giving or taking of bribes. Some of you may not know the rule of engagement for seaport security. Even when we discuss complaint, do you have the authority to be in the ports those that are licensed by the customs"
The NAGAFF founder reiterated that the essence of the team is to enable freight forwarders to follow the approved process in cargo clearance.
"Those who are freight forwarders like NAGAFF have the license to operate and has the authority of moving cargo from one point to the other"
According to him, "we want them to follow the process that is approved by the government in cargo clearance, so that if they have problem, we will have the mindset to really protect them. If you are found guilty, you will be handed over to the appropriate authority for discipline"
He however said that some terminals go against the contract of carriage by taking cargoes out of the ports of destination.
"Some of these terminals will take your cargo to a destination you didn't ask for and thereby tampering with the contact of carriage. Nobody has the right to move the cargo to where it is not destined to", he said.
Also speaking, the chairman of the team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko said that the group would like to work with officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to help them achieve their target.
He also disclosed that the group is going to have two weeks’ seminar for compliance team and will commence work, afterwards.
"We are here to work with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to help them to achieve their target. We are going to have two weeks’ seminar for the compliance tram and after that, we will start work"
"We can't do anything without knowledge, so we are going to make sure that all members of the compliance team have knowledge. We are no longer yours the way they used to address us, we are learned and we are going to work like professionals", he stated.