There are strong indications that the complaints of the 100% Compliance Team of NAGAFF over the alleged dubious, outrageous and multiple charges which slow down the pace of scanning as well as deliberate imposition of payment of demurrage on freight forwarders has yielded fruits.
Investigations showed that there is now reduction in the Debit Notes issued by the Terminal operator, APMT in recent times.
The NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team National Coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko who reacted to this development thanked the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for their prompt intervention while expressing hope that other issues raised in their letter of complaints would be resolved soon.
It would be recalled the Team in a letter addressed to the Area Comptroller Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa Command dated 7th October, 2022, Complained that the deployment of scanners at the Premier Port Complex, Apapa has suffered setback following sharp practices of the members of staff of APM Terminal
Alhaji Tanko who also addressed the Press on the issue however warned that if no significant changes or improvement in the services at the Terminal, they (freight forwarders) would withdraw their services in protest of the poor services, extortion, bribery and deliberate acts to force demurrage on freight forwarders.
He posited that the reintroduction of scanners was as a result of security challenges but lamented that one scanner at the Terminal was not enough to meet the demands at the terminal.
The 100% Compliance Team National Coordinator recalled that APMT officials had earlier during a meeting in Abuja promised to scan up to 800 containers per day but that the operator could hardly scan 50 containers in a day.
Tanko who is also a Board member of NAGAFF as well as Governing Council member, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), however in the letter, urged the CAC Apapa Command to consider physical examination for some of the declarations to ease the pressure on the Premier Port with the volume of ships and quantum of containers coming into it.
He also called for increased number of scanning machines in operation to at least 4 or five to meet the volume of declarations, as well as deploying more officers to the scanners while advocating for the E- Customs (Electronic Selection Process), which according to him, is the best option in the circumstance.
However, the Minister of Finance, Budget and Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed while commissioning the newly installed mobile scanners at the Apapa Port recently said Efforts were being made by the federal government to procure and bring in more scanners to the seaports, land borders and airports.
The Scanners, She disclosed, have the capacity of dictating prohibited imports concealed in cargos as well as enable up to 500 cargoes to be scanned in a day which brings about the desired effectiveness and efficiency in cargo examination processes.