By Godfrey Bivbere
Federal government is losing over N100 billion annually to activities of foreign freight forwarding groups in the country.
A frontline indigenous freight forwarder in the country, Prince Olayiwola ShittuÂ said in an exclusive chat with Vanguard.
Shittu who is the former Public relations officer of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and also the Chairman Association Electoral Commission (ASECO), said foreign operators also have their bonded terminals and move any consignment from the port to these terminals unchecked.
Similarly, Chairman of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Mr. Tony Iju Nwabudike told Vanguard that most of the top jobs in the country are handled by foreigners and that is one of the things that the Council hopes to correct with time.
Shittu pointed out that government gives target of about N650 billion to the management of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), although there are leakages, the Customs officers themselves have been able to block some of the loop-hole from which there have been revenue leakages in the past.
In his words, â€œEven abroad leakages are always there but the cleanest operators are the foreigners, they have money to invest, they will have their own bonded terminal.
They will carry cargo from anywhere and apply for their bonded terminal to receive it, on receiving that cargo; I know that (Customs) officers are the ones to do inspection but because they (foreign freight forwarders) are in charge of declaration and everyone has a price.
A hungry Customs officer will collude might collude with them.Â I am telling you government will loss not less than a N100 billion (one hundred billion) annually with the involvement of foreigners in freight forwarding. With a projection that it will continue to increase.â€
He further stated that the average security personnel at the port gives more respect to a foreigner than a Nigerian should both be looking for the same thing from the officers.
Shittu explained that solution to indigenous handling of freight forwarding in the country is a new orientation on the part of all those concern, both government, security agents and the practitioners themselves.