Again : NAGAFF raises alarm on port system collapse
* Calls for Presidential inquiry to look at port operations
By Udeme Clement :
Only few days after the Founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, Dr Boniface Aniebonam, called attention of regulatory agencies in the port to what he described as deliberate disregard for government directives, he is again saying there is total system collapse in the port industry.
He made these assertions while addressing members of the 100 percent Compliance Team at NAGAFF head quarters, Apapa, Lagos.
Dr Aniebonam is now calling on the Federal Government for a Presidential inquiry, to see how things are going in the port ,at the moment .
He said, “Port charges are very high with adverse effect on freight forwarding business. We are not going forward”.
The Founder stressed, “Operationally, there is total system breakdown, nothing is working. The law is there, but no enforcement and compliance to make the system functional like what obtains in other countries.
“In war, when there is system collapse, tactics must take over in form of self regulation. Those who ought to help us are not doing that. To us, nothing is working. We can’t even predict our profit. Many freight forwarders are already frustrated
“We are not going forward in the business and this is not good for our economy. Our principals are losing their investments.
“If importers are losing their investments, it means no work for freight forwarders in the port. Even when containers are cleared out of the port, other agencies of government will stop them on the road.”
“Our mission is to save trade. Trade is not thriving at all. Looking at the way things are going now, you can see that there is system collapse in the nation’s seaport, because there is confusion everywhere.”
Dr Aniebonam expressed great displeasure on activities of concessionaires not complying with directives from government.
On what the team stands for, he explained, “The Compliance Team is an Enforcement Unit and initiative of NAGAFF to monitor activities in the port and come up with reports on what the organisations in the port are doing.
“As you can see, we are giving them their official operational kits and they are going to be well trained, to carry out their task effectively.
“Since there is system breakdown in the port, we need to help ourselves. The tactics we are using is to be on top of the situation in form of self regulation and compliance.
“The real intention of government to make the port competitive has been totally defeated, especially with lack of compliance with government directives.
“The fact is that, for freight forwarders to sustain their means of livelihood, they must learn to add value and ensure that things are done the right way.
“The reality is that freight forwarders are surrounded by people who do not want things to be done the right way. In this situation, they must take their destiny in their hands, by ensuring compliance in all areas of their operations in the port.”
In his remarks, the National Coordinator of NAGAFF 100 percent Compliance Team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, calls for effectiveness and total cooperation by the team in carrying out their functions in the port.
According to Tanko, “All Chapters will be led by Co-ordinators and the Bonded Terminals will be headed by Supervisors.
Tanko also calls for hard work and commitments on the part of enforcement officers, promising that with time, the Chapters will be given buses, to aid their operations.
In conclusion, he thanked Dr Aniebonam for his commitments at ensuring that the port stays afloat to enhance economic growth and development.