Determined to resolve anomalies affecting smooth cargo clearance from the seaports, the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) 100 per cent Compliance Task Force has said it will engage government agencies and other critical stakeholders in the maritime industry to x-ray the bottlenecks in ports operations hindering trade facilitation.
The National Co-ordinator of the Compliance Team, Ibrahim Tanko, who disclosed this yesterday, said the freight forwarding group had put up a two-day workshop to address issues on cargo clearance, and the cost of doing business at the nation’s seaports and other burning issues associated with shipping and trade.
Slated for June 22 and 23, 2022 at 9 am at Rockview Hotel, Apapa, Lagos, the theme of the workshop is: “Sustainable Synergy with the Nigeria Customs Service, Shipping Companies, Terminal Operators, Freight Forwarders and other Stakeholders.”
Tanko said topical issues, to be discussed include causes of demurrage, late refunds of containers deposits, barge operations, rail container transfer to Inland Container Depots (ICDs), Practitioners Operating Fee (POF), electronic call-up system (ETO), the process of transfer and the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Valuation.
He said public and private stakeholders in port operations need to come together on a round table and identify the problems, even as he lamented that regulatory agencies in the sector need to do more in the area of implementation and enforcement.
Tanko said it has become expedient and necessary for the various service providers including the shipping lines, terminal operators and barge operators as well as regulators such as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Customs, the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others to synergise.
“We need to come together to discuss and find lasting solutions to the various challenges plaguing the industry instead of fighting, which is what we intend to achieve with the workshop. The various service providers and regulators have been invited and they will tell us what is being done to resolve these challenges. The users of these port services will also make their inputs in order to have efficient port operations.
“The Chairman or Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding Practice in Nigeria (CRFFN) would also use the opportunity provided by the workshop to tell stakeholders, especially the freight forwarders what they stand to benefit from the payment of the Practitioners Operating Fee POF, which is paid per container and tonnage of imported cargo,” he said.