NAGAFF, NANS may collaborate in agitation for individual licensing of customs brokers

NAGAFF Team at a proposed project site

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Thursday took the agitation for individual licensing of customs brokers by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to higher level by calling on the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to be part of the struggle.

The Customs Excise and Management Act (CEMA) only recognizes of corporate organizations as customs agents or brokers instead of individuals.

But leaders of NAGAFF have in the past few years been agitating for individual licensing, arguing that corporate licensing has failed the Customs as it was responsible for the fraudulent practices involving holders of such licences.

The founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam called on the leadership of NANS to collaborate with NAGAFF in the struggle to get the Customs to allow licensing of legible individuals get such licences.

Aniebonam told the students who had come to confer an award to the President of NAGAFF, Dr, Eugene Nweke, as ‘Commander of Nigerian Students ‘ that individual licensing would open up employment opportunities to fresh Nigerian youths who have graduated and languishing without jobs.

He said NAGAFF and NANS can seek the amendment of the Customs Act that limits licensing of customs brokers or freight forwarders to corporate bodies.

The Vice Chairman of the NANS, Mr Segun Okeowo Kayode  Jnr who led a delegation of other leaders for the presentation of the award at NAGAFF headquarters, Apapa, Lagos, promised to table the matter before the national executive meeting for deliberation.

Aniebonam said that the current licensing regime does not only encourage fraudulent practices, but also encourages foreigners who have taken over the job from Nigerians.

When more individuals are licensed, he said, it will create more jobs for the youths who have left school without hope of getting employment.

However, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) had recently told the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) during a stakeholders’ meeting in Apapa not to allow individual licensing of customs brokers in the country.

However, in presenting the award to Dr, Nweke, Okeowo urged the NAGAFF President not to derail in his good works for Nigeria and the masses.

According to him, NANS attaches so much importance to the qualities of the NAGAFF President which according to him were the reason for the honour.

He said that the association will also recommend Nweke to the federal government for national honour, adding that the NAGAFF president has proved himself to be a young professional of integrity.

In his acceptance speech, Nweke, who commended the leadership of NANS for the honour dedicated the award to NAGGAFF.

Nweke said that NAGAFF has been involved in training of freight forwarders to put them on the right footing as far as professionalism is concerned.

Nweke who also runs a primary school in Lagos, said he has given 40 of them scholarships as his contribution to human capacity development in the country.

Many of the children, he said, have since entered universities for various courses.
Credit: Shipping Day