NAGAFF visits KLT Customs command, seeks friendly environment, trade facilitation

...CAC promises open door, admonishes on legitimate trade


Segun Oladipupo

The leadership of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) on Thursday, sought the understanding of the management of the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) command of Nigeria Customs Service for ease of cargo clearance and trade facilitation

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The foremost freight forwarding association also sought the assistance of the Controller, Martina Tilley-Gyado to help facilitate stemming of containers to the terminal especially to ease congestion at the major terminals in Apapa and Tincan

Speaking during a courtesy visit on the KLT command Controller, the National President of NAGAFF, Tochukwu Ezisi called on the Command’s hierarchy to help nip the issues of militating against cargo clearance at the terminal which according to them, includes incessant alerts.

Ezisi who was represented at the meeting by the Deputy National President, Headquarters, Simeon Nwonu, called on the Area Controller to partner the association as parts of efforts to bring back the past glory of KLT command.

His words, “The meeting with the CAC KLT is to intimate her about the challenges faced by our members. We also came to agreement with customs on friendly approach to cargo clearance because customs and freight forwarders are like husband and wife. And for us to achieve this, we just have to engage in effective communication.”

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Agubanze pledged that NAGAFF will continue to support and encourage the command under Comptroller Tilley-Gyado’s watch to help her achieve the aim for which she was posted to the command.

Agubanze, reiterated that the visit was solely on soliciting friendly working environment with customs.

Also speaking, Mr. Afam Chukwuma, Deputy National President, Seaports reiterated that the essence of the meeting with the Customs is to cultivate, build and plant a cordial relationship between customs officers and members of NAGAFF for effective cargo clearance.

He added they the visit would transcend command level to the headquarters

He said, “This meeting is meant to be part of the continuous efforts of the president, Chief Tochukwo Ezisi to cultivate, to build and to plant a cordial relationship between NAGAFF as an association and Nigeria Customs Service in its entirety from commands, zonal and headquarters

“This is one of the visits we have made as we had earlier been to PTML command and the visit continues.

“What we intend to achieve is to deepen the relationship between NAGAFF and Customs and in so doing it will help to facilitate trade

“We need to let the Customs understand the need to facilitate trade which is their core mandate because our members bring one peculiar complaints from one command to another and this visit is meant to address some of those issues in order to help Customs do their jobs and also for our members to carry out their operations without hitches.”

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The KLT Chapter Chairman of NAGAFF, Engr. Emmanuel Umeadi appealed to the terminal operators to stem containers to the terminal for ease of clearance as well as to decongest the major terminals in Apapa and Tincan

He rued high exchange rate and scarcity of dollars in the country attributing it to the low cargo throughput in the country

He said that the visits would afford friendly environment between customs and NAGAFF members.

Responding, the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT), Comptroller Martina Tilley-Gyado assured the visitors of her co-operation even as she admonished them to engage in legitimate trade and declaration

She promised an open door policy for freight agents on seamless cargo clearance, even as she called for effective communication mechanism in ensuring smooth and seamless trade facilitation despite the lull in cargo throughput.

Tilley-Gyado who promised a friendly environment to the freight forwarders, asked them to reciprocate same because friendship involves two persons.

On the incessant alerts, she promised to help as much as she could if it is within her capacity to do so.

Her words, “NAGAFF is the umbrella body of freight forwarders, if you don’t support me, how can I succeed?

“I believe that when we communicate and co-operate together, we can solve whatever is making this command go backward instead of moving forward.

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“If we cooperate, we can synergize and if we are in business together, we can move forward together

“I want to assure you that you have my cooperation, I am available for you. We are involved in this supply chain together and we must not let it break

“In cases where I can help, I will help but don’t bring cases that are not helpable to me.

“A friendly environment requires two parties, as you look for friendly environment, also give us same treatment so that we can make our playground easy for ourselves.

“I am certainly not going to alert jobs and when you get one, you will know that it is an alert that you are supposed to have, ” she averred.


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