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Shippers’ Association set to flush out quacks


LAGOS – The Shippers’ Association, Lagos State chapter on Friday said it would drive away quacks parading themselves as shippers (importers and exporters) from the ports.
President of the association, Mr Jonathan Nicol, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
“If you say you are a shipper you should be able to have a document like the Bill of Lading in your name, the form `M’ in your name and the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) in your name.
“This is one of the conditions for registering members into shippers’ association.
“Before we pronounce you a shipper, you must have the certificate of incorporation.
“When these are provided, we make a visit and conduct physical inspection of your premises before an approval is given by the president of the association; and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council,’’ he said
Nicol said, “We will now issue our (shippers’ association) identity cards and certificate of membership.’’
The president also called for a reduction in the number of government agencies at the ports.
According to him, government should narrow the number of agencies at the ports and ensure that cargo examination is performed just once.
“After this, cargo will be released and that will be the end of that transaction.
“With this, cargo should leave the ports in the next two or three hours, ‘’ he said.
Nicol said some agencies would deliberately not show up when there were joint examinations and such agencies would hold the importer to ransom.
He said the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the National Foods Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the State Security Service (SSS) and the Nigeria Police (NPF) performed examinations at the ports.
“The management of cargo is exclusively placed on the shoulders of customs.
Customs is well-equipped and well-trained to do this but in special cases, it can call on other agencies,’’ the shipper said.
Nicol said the association had also stood up against corruption which made some importers to flee the ports.
He said a lot of companies left Nigeria for other countries because of high taxation and advised that government should reduce taxes.
The shipper further said that there were rooms for government to expand the ports and dredge the channels deeper for bigger vessels to berth in Nigerian ports.
“If you look at the massive investments in the ports, I believe that we can still sustain the Lagos port by expanding the facilities,’’ NAN quotes Nicol as saying. (NAN)

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