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Compliance Teams of ANLCA, NAGAFF, a mere posturing — Stakeholder

Chinazor Megbolu    |    

A stakeholder in the maritime industry, Comrade Chidi Anthony Opara, has picked holes in the Compliance Teams recently set up by National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarder (NAGAFF) and Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), saying it is a mere posturing.

Opara, a former Press Relations Officer, ANLCA disclosed this on Monday while reacting to a story published by this medium, nigeriamaritime360.com, saying that the two associations are not pursuing any anti-corruption agenda but just posturing.

According to him;
“there is actually no anti-corruption anything going on in the subsector. What is going on is mere posturing”. 

He further explained that ANLCA and NAGAFF actually contributed in weakening the system, adding that the chieftains of both groups are presently playing pivotal roles in Council for the Regulation Freight Forwarders in Nigeria (CRFFN) as well as having substantial influence in Nigeria Shippers’ Council (NSC). 

Opara, while pointing out that CRFFN and NSC have working synergy, queried why both ANLCA and NAGAFF couldn’t leverage on the influence of the respective  associations to fight corruption.

“Why can’t the two associations leverage on their influence in the aforementioned regulatory agencies to fight corruption in the subsector?

“Some of us have documentary evidence of corruption in the subsector and also evidence of who and who are involved, at the appropriate time, we will make these available for the world to see. 

“A substantial amount of revenue that is supposed to enter government coffers as import duty revenue enters the private pockets of corrupt government officials and individuals. 

“Soon, the bubble will burst and the world would know the real sources of those wealth. You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free,”
Opara said. 

The former member, CRFFN, Freight Forwarders Consultative Forum also noted that the two groups have lost credibility in the industry, adding the compliance initiative is a mere self rebranding move.

“The two associations have lost credibility in the circle of credible officialdom and honest stakeholders and want to go on rebound by posturing on launching anti-corruption campaigns in the ports,”
Opara said.

Meanwhile, this medium, Nigeriamaritime360.com in its vintage Editorial on Monday, had narrated that in February, 2020, NAGAFF inaugurated a compliance team meant to expose corruption among the service providers.
The team is also to evaluate the performance of the terminal operators with a view to determining their operational efficiencies.

“It was to beam its searchlight on the APM, reputed to be the biggest and most influential.

“However, the ANLCA, a sister group, took a cue from its rival association when it also set up its own compliance team late July, 2020.

“While ANLCA team was still trying to settle down to its task of fighting corruption and tackling operational challenges, which its members are faced with in the daily discharge of their duties, NAGAFF had already gone into a full blown action.

“Last week, the  NAGAFF team reportedly shut an erring bonded terminal for breach of operational procedures.

“This development has exposed a fundamental flaw in the regulatory environment in the maritime industry.

“It has exposed the weakness and timidity of the relevant regulatory agencies who are charged with the task of which the two freight forwarding associations have clearly usurped.

“The action of the two groups has clearly shown the soft underbelly of the Nigerian Shippers Council, The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigeria Customs Service and the CRFFN”, the editorial has stated.

© 2020, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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