The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has secured the release of eight out of 11 vehicles seized by Clarion West Africa Shipping Management since June, 2021.
Efforts made by the clearing agency to get the vehicles released over a year ago proved abortive until NAGAFF through its 100% Compliance Team stepped into the matter.
Recall that the 100% Compliance Team led by its National Coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, had staged a protest against the management of Clarion bonded terminal in March demanding unconditional release of the said vehicles to their members who are the owners of the vehicles.
They argued that the vehicles of their members were cleared with all duties and charges paid but Clarion management refused to let go since June last year on the excuse that Ajaji, the clearing Agency Managing Director, has an unpaid demand notice to settle, which has nothing to do with the cleared vehicles.
Addressing journalists over the achievement in Lagos on Wednesday, the 100% Compliance Team Coordinator, who spoke through his Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Committee, Fwdr. Bert Okeke expressed joy over the feat, noting that the task wasn’t an easy one.
“Today, we came to present to the general public the vehicles NAGAFF through the Compliance Team negotiated out of Clarion Bonded terminal that has been in dispute since 2021.
“14 vehicles were in dispute and were held back between our member clearing agency and management of Clarion West Africa Shipping and today, we have been able to secure their release, all of them out of the terminal,” he stated.
On whether they paid demurrage for the vehicles as earlier demanded by Clarion he said, “That was then, but then we kept pushing. When they said they were only going to give us 70% of the waiver, the last push was by Mr. President, Chief Tochukwu Ezisi, who went to the Customs Area Controller, Tincan Island command to impress it on him that that wasn’t the agreement we had at the negotiating table. The CAC intervened swiftly, and by the next day we had 100% waiver. We never paid a dime on demurrage. I commend Customs for their magnanimity.”
“I want to commend the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for their magnanimity as well as the management of Clarion Bonded terminal who respected us, respected Customs and the relationship they have with all those who do business with them. I must give the credit to them.”
In his reaction, an importer and one of the owners of the seized vehicles, Mr. Chidi Nzewi expressed gratitude to NAGAFF for their intervention and called on all other freight forwarders in the industry who may have genuine cases to approach NAGAFF for mediation.
It was gathered that the success recorded in securing the release of the seized vehicles was not without the strong inputs of the Founder of NAGAFF, Dr Boniface Aniebonam as efforts are in top gear to release the three remaining vehicles before the end of the week.