The Compliance Team, acting in accordance with its mission as the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders' (NAGAFF) enforcement arm, has emerged victorious in its protracted conflict with the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT).Remember that in the final quarter of 2023, a committee headed by the office of former Vice President Prof. Yemi Osibajo was tasked with monitoring activities at the seaports. 

This committee showed up at the APMT terminal bearing a letter instructing the Deputy Comptroller to call a meeting of stakeholders and mandating that exams begin at 9 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. 

The National Coordinator of Compliance Team, Dr. Ibrahim Tanko, released a statement in which the organisation expressed doubts about the PSTT's jurisdiction in light of the several summonses and directions.

"PSTT went ahead to set up a stand at the terminal (APMT) fully armed participating in cargo examinations and carting away samples."

"We challenged them, physically obstructing their activities, removed their stand, seized the samples collected and ensured their exit. They thereafter resorted to all sorts of intimidations, blackmail and harassments."

"The home of our national coordinator was besieged on several occasions at very ungodly hours, attempting to arrest him, with invitations from the DSS, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Zone 2 headquarters of the Nigeria Police."

The group noted that Mr. Kayode of the APMT operations was arrested and interrogated at the state headquarters of the DSS and Zone 2, with the spurious allegation that he connived with the Compliance Team in ejecting PSTT from the seaports.

According to the Compliance Team, PSTT replicated the same corrupt operations executed in Apapa at the Tin Can Island Port.

Noting that the port industry is already overburdened by the large numbers of government agencies at the ports, Tanko argued that foisting another agency would further slow down the clearing process, making the ports one of the most expensive and cumbersome in the world.

"We are glad to report that the Port Standing Task Team has been ordered never to encroach on the activities of port users and the community. Since they claimed to operate from the Shippers Council, they were to restrict themselves to their mandate and never to interfere with customs and Terminal operations".

"By this victory, the Compliance Team reiterates its readiness to defend the interest of freight forwarders in line with our mandate as the punching arm of NAGAFF. We thank the following persons for their solidarity and support; the then Acting Customs Area Comptroller, Apapa Command, Auwal Baba Mohammed,  the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Operations, Force headquarters, the MD, Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Bello-Koko the former Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers' Council, Hon. Emmanuel Jime and the management of the APMT," the group said.

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