Freight forwarders beg FG to clear 735 trucks stranded at border




Freight forwarders beg FG to clear 735 trucks stranded at border

The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANCLA)  has pleaded with the Federal Government to create platform to clear 735 trucks loaded with perishable goods stranded at Seme.

Mr Bisiriyu Fanu, Seme border Chapter Chairman of ANLCA, made the appeal in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Seme.

recalled that though there was initially no official statement announcing partial closure of Nigeria’s border with Benin Republic, travellers have reported restrictions since Aug.  20.

However, President Muhammadu Buhari had said at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD7), in Yokohama, Japan that the partial border closure was because of the massive smuggling activities, especially of rice, taking place on that corridor.

Fanu said that each of the trucks was carrying over N20 million worth of goods and if not released would amount to loss of billions of revenue.

“The importers are not aware of the government policy of border closure and their goods are not illegal.

“Some of the perishable goods have expiring date. If the trucks are not released on time, customers might not buy from the market because the date of expiration will have been closer.

“Presently, we have 403 trucks of goods in the park while 332 are inside the border post making 735 trucks,’’ he said.

The ANLCA border chairman reiterated the need for government to create a platform for joint examination of goods because the trucks are of different variety of goods coming into the country.

He said that the platform should be created at the border posts and not only in Seme but throughout the land borders in Nigeria.

“All security operatives should be involved in checking the trucks and only trucks with genuine documents should be allowed into the country.

“This will enable importers that borrowed money from banks for the business to repay so that debit interest will not throw them out of business,’’ he said.

Fanu said freight forwarders were in support border closure for security purpose and sustenance of the economy.

He further said that the Comptroller General of Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali had visited the border and addressed freight forwarders on reasons for closure of the border.

“We are in support of the action. The neighboring countries should be able to know that Nigeria is big enough to feed itself.

“The government has tried to ensure that neighbouring countries deal in legitimate business with importers but they are not cooperating,” the freight forwarder chairman said.

He appealed to the government to allow goods with genuine documents to pass as they allowed people with valid passport and ECOWAS documents to pass through the border posts.

reports that the joint-border security exercise, code-named ‘Ex-Swift Response’, was ordered by the government and was aimed at securing Nigeria’s land and maritime borders.

The exercise commenced on Aug. 19 and was jointly conducted by the customs, immigration, police and military personnel, coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser.


Edited by Chinyere Bassey/Maharazu Ahmed

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