CNRFF KICKS AGAINST ALLOCATION OF OVERTIME CARGOES TO FAMILIES, FRIENDS AND PROXIES
By Mcanthony Onuoha
Freight Forwarders under the aegis of Concerned Nigeria Registered Freight Forwarders -CNRFF have called for fairness and transparency in the planned auctioning of overtime cargoes by the Federal Government.
The meeting held at Rockview Hotel, Apapa on Friday, 14th July, 2023, was one out of the series of meetings in furtherance to their request for fairness and transparency in the proposed auction sales.
CNRFF at the meeting, said it was concerned about the level of underhandedness and foul play that characterized auctioning of overtime cargoes in time past, describing it as shambolic and lacking every modicum of transparency.
Meanwhile, the group called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, to stop public auctioning and sharing of overtime cargoes to families, friends and proxies by officials of Government Agencies assigned to carry out the auction sales on behalf of the Government. The group went ahead to appeal to the President to grant the rightful owners of the consignments unhindered bidding right .
The meeting was convened by the leadership of CNRFF led by Dr. Chudi Basil Nwolisa, President of Association of Nigeria Customs Brokers-ANCB. In his address, Dr. Nwolisa said, “we must understand that overtime cargoes are generally generated by failed and unregulated business environments in Nigeria where very outdated, obsolete and repugnant system of doing business is the order of the day.”
” The Importers of these goods are just victims of a collapsed and tedious system carefully put in place by Customs, Shipping Companies, Terminal Operators and other government agencies to fleece Nigerians which results to the long period of clearing goods in our ports ostensibly to collect rent and demurrage.”
” The Concerned Nigeria Registered Freight Forwarders-CNRFF believe government will make more money by auctioning these goods to their original owners.”
In a previous meeting, CNRFF pleaded with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,GCFR, to set up a Special Committee with members drawn from Freight Forwarders, Representatives of the Association of Nigeria Customs Brokers-ANCB, Importers Association of Nigeria -IMAN, Nigerian Ports Authority-NPA and Nigeria Shipper’s Council to be headed by a Senior official from the Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government who would see that the items were resold to their original owners so as to ameliorate the sufferings of the importers and their families; many of whom have died as a result of pressure or heartbreak following the impoundment of their goods.
According to CNRFF, ” reselling the goods to their original owners will bring succors and relief to these Importers, their families and dependants who will be rendered totally poor if the containers are shared among the so called stakeholders who end up sharing them to their immediate families and friends.”
Leaders of organizations present at the meeting unanimously agreed that many dying businesses of businessmen and women would be recovered and suffering families rescued if the goods are resold to their original owners who know their value.