BY Innocent Orok
The National President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Hon. Iju Tony Nwabunike has assured all Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders that the Federal Government has granted unhindered access to all its members and other stakeholders operating in the ports to carry out their businesses.
Nwabunike said this in a statement made available to our Correspondent assuring that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha has given them the go ahead.
He said the SGSF has asked all the security agencies operating in the ports not to harass or arrest any Customs Broker, Freight Forwarder and other ports users going on their legitimate duties in ports during the lockdown, as according to him, the government has classified their functions as essential services.
Nwabunike in the statement said “In line with my earlier commitment to provide feedback on the issues surrounding our daily operations at the ports during the lockdown, I am pleased to inform you that the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) has instructed that all customs brokers, freight forwarders and port users are exempted from the lockdown.
“Consequently, he has instructed all the security agencies operating in and out of the ports, particularly the Lagos State Police Commissioner not to arrest or prevent any customs broker/freight forwarder going forward, as we are also designated as providing essential services.”
The ANLCA President, advice all members to always move around with their means of identification and in any case of harassment should called him for assistance.
” You are , however required to ensure you always have your port pass and your company ID on you for proper identification. In the unlikely event that you are wrongly arrested by the police , please call me on 08030616133 for immediate intervention and release.
He also assured that, the Federal Government has instructed all banks to operate in full capacity.
“I am also pleased to inform you that the Federal Government has instructed all banks to operate at full capacity.
You can now pay your duty starting from tomorrow or the day after ,without hitches. I want to use this opportunity to thank the SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha and Barrister Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers Council for their professional and prompt handling of these challenges.
“I also want to thank the CRFFN Registrar and his council members for the sensitization visits to all Lagos ports today. ANLCA is indeed very grateful to the FGN for their prompt response.
“Be reminded that COVID 19 is real and we must adhere to all directives from the authorities, including social distancing. to stop the spread of the disease. I implore you to stay away from the ports if you don’t have any business at this time. Stay safe.”