Shipping Daily Live, 20th April 2020
The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) were full of applause for the Management team of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) over their efforts to ensure that goods are cleared at the ports despite the difficult operating environment occasioned by the coronarivus pandemic.
President of ANLCA, Iju Tony Nwabunike and NAGAFF President, Chief Increase Uche said that despite the federal government order, clearing goods at the ports has been a herculean task and would have been a total failure if not for the strategic intervention of the ports economic regulator.
Uche on the other hand said that if not for the Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr Hassan Bello and his management team who were on the field to talk to the service providers, clearing at the ports would not have been possible.
“Hassan Bello has been with us since the lockdown started rallying round to ensure that those who have essential goods to clear at the ports do so. He was talking to the banks, shipping companies and terminal operators and other agencies so that clearing at the ports went on smoothly.
“Where we have problems has been with the shipping companies and terminal operators and banks. All of the operators offered skeletal services. This has been the problem for our members to pay customs duties, purchase drafts for the payment of shipping companies and terminal dues”, he said.
In all however, the NAGAFF President commended the Shippers Council for coming to the aid of the freight forwarders to clear goods at the ports, adding that this the Council did after providing buses that covered all the Lagos routes.
Uche said, “NSC has been wonderful. The entire team has been wonderful. The Council led by Bello visited most of the terminals. It was Bello who came up with the idea on how we can follow the Presidential Directive on COVID-19 and clear goods. If he had not provided buses and moved round the ports to talk to the shipping companies and terminal operators, including appealing to banks, we would not have done anything at all. But I must say that I expected this from Bello because he is an industry person and he knows what is involved. He has been so proactive to ensure that everything worked well at the ports.