Cargo evacuation not affected by Easter holiday — Nwabunike

Apapa, Customs

NATIONAL President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Hon. Tony Nwabunike, has appealed to members and the entire freight forwarding community to key into the window provided by the Federal Government for clearance of cargo from the port during the forthcoming Easter holiday, noting that agencies of government at the ports have pledged to remain on their duty posts.

The ANLCA leader also commended customs brokers and freight forwarders for keeping faith with their calling and remaining to carry on with their activities at the nation’s ports and cargo value chain services despite the risks associated with the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic.

In his latest update, Nwabunike availed practitioners of key agreements reached between ANLCA and agencies of the Federal Government operating at the port, and urged all customs brokers and freight forwarders to avail themselves of the window of support and synergy by the respective agencies of government; even as he expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation so far extended by the key port agencies in the facilitation of cargo clearance. His words: “Once again, dear customs brokers, freight forwarders and stakeholders in the Nigeria Maritime industry, I want to first of all appreciate the efforts all of us have put up to keep the sector functioning despite the risks and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. “There is no gain saying that the total lockdown of activities in Lagos State occasioned by the pandemic has in no small way affected our lives and businesses. But I urge you all not to despair as this is the price the whole world is paying right now to keep both citizens and economies alive. “I want to keep you abreast with the latest developments in the maritime sector as at Wednesday, April 8, 2020. The Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, in collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has asked customs brokers and freight forwarders who have finalised all payments of duties and ready to load their cargoes to do so as the Customs will allow exit of such cargoes from the ports during the Easter Public Holidays from Friday, April 10 to Monday, April 13, 2020. “The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, has issued mandate letters to terminal operators for waiver of rent charges for initial period of 21 days, effective March 23, 2020. The letter was dated April 2, 2020 and titled Relief Measures to Port Users due to outbreak of COVID19. “Dear colleagues with these two critical trade windows, I want to implore all of you to grab the opportunity and move your consignments from the ports of Lagos as fast as you can, while the window lasts. I want to also appeal to all my colleagues to always follow the right channels of information so that they are not deprived or short changed by any agency during this period.” Nwabunike assured customs brokers and freight forwarders in its fold that ANLCA will continue to liaise with all relevant government agencies and other port stakeholders to ensure that our members do not suffer undue losses in this trying time, adding: NECOM will do everything humanly possible to alleviate sufferings by any of our member during this period through constructive engagement with all parties concern.

SOURCE:VANGUARD

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