Nigerian Freight Forwarders lack capacity to handle project jobs – Nwabunike 

 Segun Oladipupo      ::       
National President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents(ANLCA), Tony Iju Nwabunike has said that Nigerian Freight Forwarders lack capacity to handle project jobs.

Nwabunike, Federal House of Representatives candidate for Anambra North/Anambra South/ Ekwusigo federal constituency of Anambra state under All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the last general election, added that the lack of capacity is giving way for foreigners to take advantage of the Nigerian practitioners.

He said this in support for the move by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to consolidate the freight forwarding practice in Nigeria.

According to him, there are too many entrants into the profession that has turned it into an all comers affair.

He stated this in Lagos on Monday.

Citing examples of foreign countries that have consolidated, the ANLCA boss quipped that about six or eight persons can come together to form a formidable company that will be internationally competitive.

His words, “Too many people are claiming to be freight forwarders and they don’t have the capacity. If you go to Switzerland, Antwerp or anywhere in the world, you will see what is called consolidation.
Five or six of us can take a decision to come together and have a solid freight forwarding company which can stand against any other competitor abroad.

“If you go to World Cargo Alliance, what they tell us is to consolidate with people, partner with people so that they can have capacity to do project jobs.

“Many project jobs are coming to this country and only few Nigerian are doing project jobs.

“Let me give analogy, a company is building a hotel, all the consignments for building of the hotel because it is a new design, it is not a cement issue, they will bring in materials for it and all that.

“They will get a shipping agent and freight forwarder abroad by mere registering somebody here and ask for two or three persons to do clearing but the major people doing it are from abroad because we don’t have the capacity.

“I think what shippers’ Council wants to do is good.

Speaking on border closure by the Nigeria Customs Service, he stated that it could not proffer a lasting solution to the issue of insecurity and smuggling.

He therefore advised the federal government to adopt the border closure as a temporary measure while seeking better measure to tackle the menace, adding that the closure is taking tolls on the members of the association.

“I think the balance of trade is not favourable when it comes to border closure but if statistics show they are making more money, automatically it means that people have diverted to sea ports to import but what about the goods there already.

“I think the federal government should look into it critically, it shouldn’t be a permanent solution to the problem, it should be a temporal solution and they will now get the best way out to it.

“For me, I don’t support it because many of my members are complaining about it because many of them are in the border and the border is a legitimate business area,” he said.

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