The National Coordinator, 100 Per Cent Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko has described as unfortunate the reactions of Dr. John Oforbike, a chieftain of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and Princess Chi Ezeh, a member of the governing council of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), to his complaint against false declaration that is making honest freight forwarders to lose money and customers.
The frontline maritime player is not finding it funny that his complaint against false declaration of goods is generating controversies when it was meant to protect the businesses of those doing the right thing through genuine declarations.
Tanko, who denied ever saying that freight forwarders are corrupt, said that he only lodged complaint with the Area Controller of Apapa Customs command, Compt. Yusuf MI, that the recent jack up of PARR is making freight forwarders to cut corners by declaring different things entirely.
According to him, the discrepancy is making Importers/ agents to pay varying duties on the same goods where one pays N3 million and another pays N6 million.
He said that the variance in duty of the same goods for different people is making honest practitioners like him who could not cut corners to be losing money and customers.
The Compliance Team coordinator said he complained to the area controller to look into it as those of them who like to stay on the side of law are losing customers.
Specifically, Alhaji Tanko disclosed that he cleared four containers of wine for a customer which attracted a debit note of N32 million.
He stated that the debit note was issued by the Officer in Charge, Query and Amendment which the Importer told him to pay on his behalf because he didn’t have money.
He stated further that the importer gave him documents for another four containers but later asked him to come to his office.
The NAGAFF chieftain narrated that on getting to his importer’s office, his customer threw some documents at him, calling him names and saying that he would not pay the N32 million because others are clearing the same goods for lesser amount.
Alhaji Tanko said that when he checked the documents he saw that wines were declared as used vehicles in order to pay less duty.
This he complained to the controller to save honest freight forwarders who are doing genuine declarations from losing their customers and closing shop.
Alhaji Tanko said he was disappointed with the comments of Dr. Oforbike, for calling for his arrest and prosecution because he was fighting to protect the businesses of honest freight forwarders and shippers.
He described the attacks on him by Oforbike and Princess Chi Ezeh over the issue as unexpected of professionals like them.
He stated that the two freight forwarders who are occupying high positions in the freight forwarding industry ought to be on the side of law as advocates of genuine declarations, adding that they have failed to show examples of good leaders.