The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has secured the release of eight of the 11 vehicles seized by management of Clarion West Africa Shipping since June 2021.
All efforts by the clearing agency to get the vehicles released over a year ago failed until NAGAFF, through its 100 per cent Compliance Team, stepped into the matter.
It would be recalled that the compliance team led by the National Chairman, Ibrahim Tanko, protested against the management of Clarion Bonded Terminal three months ago, demanding unconditional release of the vehicles to the owners of the vehicles.
They argued that the vehicles were cleared with all duties and charges paid, but the management of Clarion refused to let go since June last year on the excuse that the Managing Director of the clearing agency had an unpaid demand notice to settle, which had nothing to do with the cleared vehicles.
Addressing journalists, Tanko, who spoke through his Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Committee, Bert Okeke, expressed delight over the feat, noting that the task was not an easy one.
“Today, we are happy to present the vehicles the Compliance Team of NAGAF negotiated out of Clarion Bonded Terminal that has been in dispute since 2021.
“About 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 demurrage was 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 per cent waiver, the last push was by President, Chief Tochukwu Ezisi, who went to CAC Tincan to impress on him that that wasn’t the agreement we had during the negotiation.
“The CAC intervened swiftly, and by the next day, we had 100 percent waiver. We never paid a dime on demurrage. I commend Customs for their magnanimity. I commend the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for its magnanimity and the management of Clarion Bonded Terminal for respecting us, the Customs and the relationship with those who do business with them.
In his reaction, an importer and one of the owners of the seized vehicles, Chidi Nzewi, commended NAGAFF for its intervention and enjoined other freight forwarders in the industry, who may have genuine cases to approach NAGAFF for mediation.
The Trumpet learnt that the success recorded was not without inputs from the Founder of NAGAFF, Dr Boniface Aniebonam, as the three remaining vehicles will be released soon.
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