A chieftain of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Chief John Ofobike has called on the police and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to arrest and prosecute the Chairman of 100% compliant team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim over false allegations.
Ofobike made this call during an exclusive chat with The News Diet today, expressing dissatisfaction at the brash assertions by Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim who alleged that customs valuation officers were conniving with freight forwarders to perpetrate fraud in clearance of vehicles.
“Why should someone who ought to be a leader make such blanket statement and generalize by labeling everyone as a fraudster. He should be arrested for defamation if he can’t provide proof to backup such spurious claims. I’m not a fraudster because that is the implication of his declaration.”
“Tanko should be investigated, concerning the allegations he made, he should be held so that he can provide more information on how to stop the fraud practice, he cannot just come out publicity and make such statements without providing information. The 100 percent compliance they are doing is a cartel, they use it to intimidate customs officers. They go about dropping names. The allegations he made against freight forwarders is probably as a result of failed business deal between Tanko and some of his cartel,” Oforbike told our correspondent.
Speaking on the disparity in the issuance of Pre Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) which was equally levelled against customs by Alhaji Tanko, Chief Ofobike explained that Customs issues PAAR based on certain parameters and existing data.
“To get value for your import, you have to write an application to the Area Controller, he would study it and minute it to the valuation head. After this, the document would be pushed to the shed, where the examining officers would check the container. Valuation officers are not part of the examination and any valuation issued can be queried if you are not satisfied,” he said.
Oforbike, however, cautioned Tanko to desist from seeking cheap popularity via unguarded statements that bring ridicule to freight forwarding practitioners.
Recall that a governing board member of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Hon. Princess Chi Ezeh has also criticized Tanko’s recent statement about freight forwarders being corrupt, describing the statement as demarketing freight forwarding and the entire maritime sector.