There is system failure, confusion in the ports – NAGAFF Founder, Dr Aniebonam

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There is system failure, confusion in the ports – NAGAFF Founder, Dr Aniebonam

* Says no leadership in the ports

* Calls for President Buhari’s intervention

The Founder, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr Boniface Aniebonam has said that there is system failure and confusion in the ports.

He made this assertion during a press conference, organised by NAGAFF to look at issues in the port industry, particularly the lingering protest being carried out by freight forwarders, to show their displeasure with the new policy on Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

NAGAFF Founder, a reputable stakeholder in the freight forwarding sub-sector lamented that there is no leadership in the ports. This he said, is responsible for policy somersault and incessant conflicts between freight forwarders and Customs on the cargo clearing

Dr. Aniebonam pointed out the lingering protest by freight forwarders and importers over VIN valuation policy as a typical example of such conflicts.

Speaking further, Dr Aniebonam called for immediate intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari to address what he described as prevalent confusion militating against trade facilitation in the port industry. He said President Buhari as the number one citizen should step in and remedy the situation.

Giving more insight into VIN valuation policy, Dr Aniebonam, who is also the National Chairman of New Nigerian Peoples’ Party (NNPP), explained that VIN valuation is part of automation in cargo clearing system, which the stakeholders yearned for over the years.

According to him, stakeholders expectated Customs to implement VIN valuation by using What is known as Agreed Customs Value (ACV) system of assessment, which takes cognisance of the transaction price of vehicles; but Customs decided to use what he called – Brussels Definition of Value (BDV), which is the opposite of ACV.

He stressed :
‘ The Service decided
to adoptt Brussels Definition of Value (BDV).
This is what is causing furore in the
In reality, I don’t understand why Customs resorted to the use of BDV instead of the ACV.

“This method has given room to more than 300 percent increase in the cost of cleaning vehicles in the ports”

Dr Aniebonam lamented that the on-going protest has crippled commercial activities in the ports.
He said , “Those embarking on the protest are adding value to the struggle. We members of NAGAFF are equally contributing to finding amicable solution to the crisis through dialogue.

To him, “exclusion of 41 items from getting forex through CBN’s official window is also another issue because such goods are the items always affected.
With destination inspection, those goods in the category of the 41 items excluded from forex, on arrival ought to be handled based on the bill of sight.”

During interactive session, the NAGAFF Founder urged importers and freight forwarders to ensure honest declaration at all times, in order to enhance seamless cargo the ports.

Responding to question on controversies surrounding Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN),. Dr Aniebonam frowned at inability of the Council to live up to expectation in protecting the interest of members. He also said the Council is not doing enough in capacity building to upscale the competences of members.

He faulted the CRFFN for Promoting independent candidacy in the coming election, thereby saying that the associations have the right to boycott the Council election.

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