– Alerts on systems breakdown in ports management and administration
By Foster Obi
National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) says it may likely to blacklist some shipping companies “from undertaking their clients Nigeria bound cargoes.
According to a press statement signed by Emma Agubanze, Head Special Duty, NAGAFF Headquarters, “Those that may face the blacklisting shall include but not limited to MaerskLine, CMA and Cosco etc. This shall soon happen thereafter we conclude discussion with friendly shipping lines like Lagos and Niger, PIL and One Ocean Network etc.
“All freight forwarders are hereby directed to wait for further directive in this regard. It is time to draw the attention of all our principals to the seeming rip off being witnessed at the moment. It is time for self regulation since we have all seen that Government is very slow in addressing the prevailing corruption and avoidable cheating in our maritime trade and transportation with emphasis on frivolous charges. We have accordingly directed the committee on shipping companies to turn in their report of findings within two weeks as regard breaches of standards procedures,” the statement noted.
“It is regrettable that up till now the Hon. Minister of Transportation due to his tight schedule is yet to inaugurate the Governing Board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN). It shall be the duty of CRFFN to regulate/control the excesses of these shipping companies and terminal operators. And for the emphasis, the Council has a tribunal where some of the heads of the shipping companies and terminal operators shall be brought to justice at any time their operations are in breach of regulations. Other than taking them up through civil litigation, the Council shall compile their various breaches for criminal proceedings. It is our wish that there should be sanity and rule of law in the maritime transport and Customs facilitation.
“In due course NAGAFF shall make further statement while appealing to the Hon. Minister of Transport to take off time and inaugurate the Governing Board of CRFFN soonest. It is apparent that there is a systems breakdown in the administration and management of our ports operations wherein some of the operators acts “ultra vires”.
“We regret to understand that some of the terminal operators hold the belief that it is only shipping companies that are deemed to be their clients. We shall in due time respond most appropriately in that regard wherein we shall question the various illegal charges being imposed upon our clients. The issue of shipping companies’ disbursement account is still lingering at this moment,” the statement declared.