The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) headed by Dr. Boniface Okechukwu Aniebonam, has called on the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), to institute criminal suits against recalcitrant shipping companies over unlawful charges in order to serve as deterrent to others.
Speaking at a roundtable briefing held in Lagos Aniebonam who was reacting to a question on delay in refunding container deposit said the offence on illegal charges attracted both civil and criminal offence. According to him, the struggle to recover the illegal charges is civil while the offence of charging illegally is criminal.
He opined that until the executives of the shipping companies should begin to see government in action with regard to descending heavily on those who run foul of the law, the shipping companies wouldn’t stop taking law into their hands.
According to him, shipping companies should be entering into negotiations with NSC on charges and flagrant disobedience of whatever is agreed upon should be regarded as nothing but criminal. He therefore called on the Shippers Council to swing into action and slam criminal charges on shipping companies charging excessively or illegally as enough of their flagrant disobedience of the law of the land is enough.
Responding to a question on officers and men of Federal Operations Unit (FOU) laying ambush a few metres away from the seaports on imports cleared by the same Customs, Aniebonam advised freight forwarders and their principals (Importers) to always make honest declarations which is the only way to forestall the Federal Operations Unit of Nigeria Customs Service from seizing their consignments.
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