Customs internet breakdown: Freight forwarders charge Nigerian government to sack Webb Fountain

Hameed Ali, Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service

Vow to seek redress in court

The Federal Government of Nigeria has been enjoined by the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) to immediately sack the Nigeria Customs Service internet service provider, Messrs. Webb Fountain, for gross incompetence which has grossly jeopardized trade facilitation.

The call by the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) is premised on a constant breakdown in the internet service of the Nigeria Customs Service, which has hampered importers and freight forwarders from taking their consignments out of the ports timely.

Counting the cost implication on its members and other freight forwarders, APFFLON President Otunba Frank Ogunojemite vowed that the association would take the Nigeria Customs to court to seek redress.

APFLLON President Otunba Frank Ogunojemite said “For weeks now, the recurring server failure in the Nigeria Customs Service operations has grossly hindered freight forwarders and their importers from taking delivery of their consignments in good time, even as shipping and terminal charges accrue,”

“Calls by freight agents on the Federal Government to fire Customs internet service provider, Messrs Webb Fountaine, for alleged incompetence have continued without violence.

“It has been substantiated that the server failure has grossly affected the revenue drive of various Customs commands, leaving marks of frustration on the faces of Customs Area Controllers who, unfortunately, have no immediate solution to the challenge.

Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) will file a lawsuit against Nigeria Customs Service, on behalf of freight forwarders, to ensure that they recover every Kobo they lost due to server failure within the period.”

The APFLLON President stressed that the association is poised to assist the affected freight forwarders and enjoined them to come forth with their claims backed up with documented facts in this regard.

‘As an advocacy group in aviation and maritime, we advise those having delivery challenges occasioned by server failure, to state how long it took them to capture their SGD;  additional storage charge incurred; as well as other difficulties associated with it, assuring them that their right to litigation can be fully exercised if they would join APFFLON to seek redress, promising to recover in full, every additional cost associated with the challenge,  provided the agent tenders the documents via the aforementioned links.

“We will always stand up against injustice meted out to freight forwarders in the course of carrying out their professional duties.

“We call on the Federal Government to immediately sack the Nigeria Customs internet service providers, Messrs. Webb Fountain, for gross incompetence which it said, has grossly jeopardized its policy on Ease of Doing Business, as well as hindered trade facilitation.

 As an advocacy group, we are filing a lawsuit against the Nigeria Customs and their clients, so as to get justice for those freight forwarders who have all these while lost both man-hours and resources due to server failure, which is not in any way a fault of theirs. We are beckoning on anyone with genuine documents that were cut in the web of this challenge to come forth and join APFFLON in the litigation,” he submitted.                    

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