By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents ,(ANLCA) has urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps in preventing Nigeria from becoming a dumping ground for empty containers.
President of the association, Iju Tony Nwabunike, gave the caution in Lagos where he called for more urgent steps to tackle the perennial gridlock in Apapa.
Nwabunike, who recently led a team of the association’s leadership on a visit to Senator Gbemisola Saraki, the Minister of State for Transport, lauded recent moves aimed at moving containers in and out of Apapa using tug propelled barges.
“We wish to draw government attention to the very near possibility of making Nigeria a dumping ground for empty containers as shipping companies have shown ineptitude in taking responsibility for this.
“We view the application of tug propelled barges in moving empty containers as a welcome initiative that should be improved upon”
On the collection of Practitioners’Operating Fees (POF) by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Nwabunike disclosed that ANLCA is supporting it because of the laudable plans explained to the association.
According to him, ANLCA got convinced because they were informed that part of the funds will be deployed to build their capacity through training and retraining of it’s members.
Nwabunike reiterated the group’s support for the planned diversion of cargoes from the Lagos area while calling on the Federal Government to dredge the Calabar and Warri channels to accommodate bigger vessels.
He added that efforts should be put in place to mitigate the effect of likely inflation that will affect consumers of imported cargoes due to the diversion recently announced by Nigerian Ports Authority.
On allegation of internal wranglings in his association, he said his administration has worked to bring everyone together and move in oneness.
He said the association accommodates the plurality of Nigeria without bias for ethnicity and lingual differences.
ANLCA according to him, is concerned about the over 2000 trucks stuck along the border corridors due to ongoing partial border closure.
He pleaded that government should reconsider allowing goods imported in line with the law, access them for duty payment to reduce the losses being incurred by importers and agents as a result of the policy.
On revenue target given to Nigeria Customs Service, Nwabunike said it will make Customs unnecessarily overzealous and desperate.
He said such practice is not in sync with what obtains in other parts of the world.