The 100% Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has expressed delight and commendation following the reduction in Debit Notes issued at the APM Terminals Apapa.
According to the freight forwarding group, several dubious, outrageous and multiple charges have been slowing down the pace of scanning as well as deliberate imposition of payment of demurrage on freight forwarders at the terminal.
The NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team National Coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko who reacted to this development thanked the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for their prompt intervention while expressing hope that other issues raised in their letter of compliant would be resolved soon.
It would be recalled the Team in a letter addressed to the Area Controller, Apapa Customs Command dated 7th October, 2022, complained that the deployment of scanners at the nation’s premier port, Apapa has suffered set back following sharp practices of the members of staff APM Terminal.
Alhaji Tanko who also addressed the press on the issue, however, warned that if no significant improvement is observed in the services at the terminal, freight forwarders would be forced to withdraw their services in protest of the poor services, extortion, bribery and deliberate acts to force demurrage on freight forwarders.
He observed that the reintroduction of scanners was as a result of security challenges, but lamented that one scanner at the terminal was not enough to meet the demands at the terminal.
Tanko recalled that APMT officials had earlier during a meeting in Abuja promised to scan up to 800 containers per day but that the operator could hardly scan 50 containers in a day.
The freight forwarder, who is also board member of NAGAFF as well as Governing Council member of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), urged the Apapa Customs Command to consider physical examination for some of the declarations to ease the pressure on the premier port with the volume of ships and quantum of containers coming into it.
He also called for the increase number of scanning machines in operation to at least 4 or five to meet the volume of declarations, as well as deploying more officers to the scanners while advocating for the E- Customs (Electronic Selection Process), which according to him is the best option in the circumstance.
However, the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed while commissioning the newly installed mobile scanners at the Apapa Port recently said efforts were being made by the federal government to procure and bring in more scanners to the seaports, land borders and airports .