The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has described a petition written by Comrade John Oforbike, Zonal Chairman, Western Zone of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), to the Customs Area Controller of Apapa Command of Nigeria Customs Service alleging that the NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team was intimidating and harassing customs officers for gratifications in some bonded terminals as a ploy to derail the synergy between NAGAFF and ANLCA.
NAGAFF said that the synergy between the two leading freight forwarding associations designed to enthrone total compliance by importers and customs agents to the tenets of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) on importation has come to stay and no one can stop it.
The Coordinator of the NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, stated this while reacting to the allegation in Apapa, Lagos, yesterday, saying that the team, since its inception, has never intimidated or harassed any customs officer in any bonded terminal, not even at AML Bonded Terminal, Denca Bonded Terminal or Mid-Maritime Bonded Terminal as listed by Oforbike, for whatever reasons.
He noted that since the team toured some terminals accompanied by the media, he has never paid any personal visit to these facilities.
Tanko noted that the Customs Area Controller of Apapa Customs Command called him that there was a petition by John Oforbike alleging that he and members of the team were going round bonded terminals harassing, intimidating and molesting customs officers. He said the Customs Controller mandated him to go to the Enforcement Unit of the command to state his own side of the matter, which, he said, he had done.
Oforbike and his cohorts, according to Tanko, deliberately put up the petition to curry favour of the customs authority, maintaining that Oforbike lacked moral ground to do such having been suspended by the higher authority of ANLCA whose letterhead paper he used to write the petition.
Alhaji Tanko who said he was not moved by the unholy act of Oforbike said that bad people like him are also in NAGAFF and would never want the synergy to work knowing well that its success is the end to their corrupt acts in the ports.
‘’The synergy of NAGAFF and ANLCA has come to stand. This is the work of bad people in ANLCA, although such people exist in NAGAFF too, who would not want the two associations to succeed in ensuring compliance. From 2018 to 2019, a lot of cargos were impounded by the customs for flimsy excuses which were occasioned by non-compliance by importers and freight forwarders. We cannot continue in this way; this is the reason why the NAGAFF higher authority felt it was necessary to set up a team to fight for compliance. This is what bad people like Oforbike desperate to see that it does not work.
‘’I challenge any customs officer molested or harassed by the team to come out. Oforbike cannot speak for customs; he is a self-seeking person who wants recognition at all times,’’ said Tanko, who said that in January 2021, NAGAFF Compliance Team and that of ANLCA would collaborate in the fight for compliance.