The Head of 100 per cent Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approval Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, has accused some corrupt officials among the government agencies and service providers of waging a campaign of calumny against the team.
Recall that NAGAFF in July inaugurated the team to monitor the compliance level of service providers with government’s Ease of Doing Business campaign at the port.
But the team, which has visited some recalcitrant service operators to enforce compliance, has come under attacks by some stakeholders who regarded its operations as illegal and a mere posturing.
While reacting to the orchestrated attacks on the team, Tanko accused some elements in NAFDAC, SON, port and bonded terminal operators who he alleged are corrupt and aversed to complying with the rules of engagement as those behind these attacks.
He also accused some elements in the freight forwarding industry, which he described as irredeemably corrupt and thrive on circumventing rules, as collaborating to frustrate the efforts of the team.
Tanko vowed that no amount of intimidation and blackmail would deter them, as the team remained focused in ensuring that all stakeholders play by the rules.
He disclosed that it was the repeated complaints and accusations by government agencies and terminal operators that freight forwarders are not compliant that made NAGAFF set up the team to self-audit themselves and whip erring members into line.
“The government agencies have asked us to be compliant and play by the rules. That is what we are trying to achieve among our members. We have about 40 per cent compliance level among our members and hope to get about 50 to 60 per cent by the end of the year. It is a gradual process. We are even organising a three-day seminar for members where we intend to further preach the gospel of compliance to them.
“After that, we shall focus on government agencies with whom we hope to interact on the issue of compliance for mutual understanding and cooperation. We have already written to the relevant ones to this effect. We have even engaged our principals who are the importers to make correct declarations…”