Home Maritime NAFFAC kicks against restrictions at cargo shed

NAFFAC kicks against restrictions at cargo shed

Following the recent reopening of the cargo warehouses shut down by the Murtala Mohammed Airport Command (MMAC) of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the National Association of Air Freight Forwarders and Consolidators (NAFFAC) has faulted the move by the men of the command to allow only licensed customs agents access to the warehouses as part of crowd control measures.
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos recently, the Murtala Mohammed Airport Chapter Chairman of NAFFAC, Mr. Alade Shabi also faulted the monetization of the collection of identity cards as a means of gaining access to the complexes saying that with that approach, armed robbers could also gain access into the sheds.
He contended that the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) should not involve itself with the registration of agents arguing that it was not an appropriate body set up by law to do that.
“We have CRFFN (Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria) in place and in the cargo complex; FAAN has sold its right to NAHCO and SAHCOL as the handling companies. So they have nothing to do in the warehouse. It is only NAHCO and SAHCOL that should update the registration process of agents that come into their warehouses”.
“They said that it is only the licensed customs agents that have the license that can come into the complex or you monetize the collection of ID cards, even armed robbers too can come with his money and have access”.
“But if they follow due the process of looking into the documents and registration of company, it will reduce all the hoodlums and when you are talking of people who are licensed customs agents, is it every licensed customs agent that has shipment every day?”, he queried.
He maintained that it was wrong for customs to insist that only customs licensed agents should operate at the warehouses noting that it was not only licensed customs agents that made up the freight forwarding industry as according to him, there were consolidators, airline agents as well as packaging and so on.
“They cannot restrict it to only licensed customs agents. That is one of the problems they are still having with CRFFN. They need to work to see to the smooth running of this industry. Nobody wants to take on anybody’s job, customs brokerage is something else but when you are talking of freight forwarding industry, customs brokerage is just a sub-sector”, he said.
Responding, the Command Public Relations Officer MMAC, Thelma William noted that the Murtala Mohammed Airport Command of the Nigeria customs was not in-charge of the gate adding that the terminal operators had their own security arrangement regarding who gains entrance to the terminal.
She said,” if there is a restriction, I think the restriction would start from the Palace gate for them to know whether you are an accredited agent, whether you have the right to come into M/M to work. If you have the papers to come in here to work, then go ahead”.
“Then when you get to NAHCO and SAHCOL and SAHCOL has it that you don’t have any reason being there, they will not allow you into their place”
She however stated that it was not in the place of the agents to gain access into the restricted areas adding that that was the bone of contention that led to the initial shut down of the terminals even as she said that the service would not hesitate to shut the terminals down again should the operators contravene the rules of engagement.
“It is not a matter of our people is stopping people from a restricted area, if we found them at the restricted area, we will shut down the warehouses again”, she said.

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