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NAGAFF compliance team lssues seven-day ultimatum against Webb Fontaines over server failure

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Segun Oladipupo

The incessant server failure at the port and alleged inefficiency of service providers, Webb Fontane,has elicited the call for seven days ultimatum by freight forwarders

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) 100% Compliance Task Team issued the threat at a press briefing in Lagos yesterday.

The group said that the operational inefficiency of Webb Fontaine is peculiar to Nigeria alone, saying when the members of the association visited Dubai, Webb Fontaine dared not replicate their shoddy service in Nigeria in Dubai.

The freight forwarders lamented that the alleged incessant failure has incurred a lot of demurrage on importers and their agents in the terminals and with shipping companies.

National Coordinator, NAGAFF 100% Compliance Task Team,  Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko who issued the ultimatum, queried the IT firm, alleging that Webb Fontaines

lacks adequate facilities to execute the project effectively.
Tanko reiterated that cargo clearance at the nation’s seaports has been in deep depression over the alleged irregular service failure, even as he called on the Ministry of Finance to intervene and save the business from further collapse.

He lamented that the incessant server failure has also affected government revenue drive without any form of explanation from officials from Webb Fortane.

He also described officials of the IT firm as arrogant, alleging that most of the staff deployed to operational commands and formations of customs ignore complaints by freight forwarders.

According to him, members of the association had paid a working visit to Webb Fortane in Dubai to compare the level of operational activities but were shocked that everything was efficient, seamless without any form of shoddy dealings with practitioners in the Middle East.

He also queried the irregularities in their  Nigeria counterparts, noting that quantum losses incurred by thousands of businessmen with consignments trapped by the downtime at most ports has been alarming.

Tanko disclosed that plans are afoot to engage management of the Nigeria Customs Service on the best way to address the irregularities, noting that the Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed  has been petitioned about the inefficiency on the part of Webb Fortane.

On the best way out of the alleged irregularities, Tanko called on the minister to critically investigate and re-examine the process of Webb Fortane operations .

While lamenting  the alleged irregularities, the National Coordinator stressed that ” Webb Fortane was appointed by the Federal Ministry of finance to implement a customs centric single window portal and the provision of IT and telecom infrastructure for Nigeria.

“Their system failure is outrageous; the network failure may last for more than four days  at a stretch, leaving us freight forwarders with huge backlog of demurrage running into millions of Naira.

“Webb Fortane was supposed to provide a single window solutions interconnecting all stakeholders involved in foreign trade allowing them from pre clearance to post clearance.

“In addition,they were to speed up customs and trade processes for both  the traders and government but here in Nigeria, we are inundated with outdated infrastructure and software.

While speaking on the trip to Webb Fortane Dubai’s trip, Tanko queried that  “Our experience over there is what we expect here  stressing the need on how to recoup the monumental losses through government intervention.

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