NAGAFF supports NPA on cargo diversion to Eastern ports
.Says FG should tidy up on border closure
By Udeme Clement
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, has expressed support for Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, on its decision to divert vessels to Eastern ports, in order to reduce the waiting time of vessels at Lagos Ports.
The National President of NAGAFF, Chief Uche Increase, made this known yesterday during a press conference organised by the Association, to address critical issues in the maritime industry.
Speaking further, Chief Increase said that the decision taken by NPA is a welcome development and comes in the nick of time to tackle the issue of congestion in Lagos ports.
He said, “Diversion of vessels to Eastern ports is a good initiative. What NPA is doing is not wrong because at present, the Ports access roads are not in good shape, even as port congestion is leading to hopelessness on the access roads.
‘Recall that some years back, the Federal Government took similar step of diverting vessels to Calabar port due to congestion in Lagos. So, it is a good idea.
He pointed out, “However, there is urgent need to make our ports competitive like what obtains in other places. In reality, it is obvious that Lagos ports cannot be expanded anymore.
“So, we must put measures in place to develop our port industry and operate in line with global best practice.”
Also speaking, the Founder of NAGAFF, Dr Boniface Aniebonam, called on the Federal Government, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, and all agencies involved to tidy up everything needed to achieve with closure of borders across the country.
This, he said becomes imperative for government to ascertain the impact made so far on the closure of land borders.
He explained, “Government should review what prompted borders closure to see if such objectives have been met, in order to re-open the borders for regional integration to thrive”.
In the same vein, Aniebonam advised members of NAGAFF to comply with import regulations to enhance speedy clearance of cargoes from the port.
He stressed that collection of Practitioners Operating Fee, POF, will enable the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, CRFFN, to carry out capacity building programmes for members.