Chief Boniface Aniebonam, the founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), yesterday advised the federal government to retain more agencies at the sea ports.
He said that agencies like the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Agency for Foods, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) should be retained at the ports.
Aniebonam made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
NAN recalls that the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had in October, sacked nine out of the 14 agencies operating at the ports to eliminate bureaucracy and make port reform effective.
Aniebonam said that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) should serve as host to NAFDAC and SON as well as other agencies at the ports for optimal performances.
He said that asking those agencies to operate outside the ports would not make for achievementt ot the 48-hour cargo clearance target.
“SON officials, whose officials are located outside Lekki will not arrive at the port on time when their attention are required,’” he said.
Aniebonam said that the government was acting under pressure by asking some of its agencies to leave the ports.
He said that there were legislative instruments establishing the different agencies which were not obsolete.
The freight forwarder said asking the agencies to leave the ports was not in the interest of the people, adding that ``sub-standard, fake and adulterated products were now leaving the ports
``Even with the SON, NAFDAC at the ports, some stakeholders are sare till manipulating to wriggle out.’’