Customs Agents Decry Collection of Samples by NAFDAC, SON Officials

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Eromosele Abiodun
The compliance team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has said it will beam it’s searchlight on illegal collection of sample materials by officials of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in 2021.

The team Coordinator, Ibrahim Tanko, who stated this in a chat with newsmen in Lagos, said the development called for attention because of the quantity of sample materials collected by the officials without returning them to the owners.
In the same vein, he reeled out some of the activities that the team would embark this year.

Tanko said the operational activities of the agencies required attention to salvage importers from being ripped off.
According to him, the large samples collected by the officials of the agencies, especially, when it pertains to consignments under their purview was taking negative tolls on the nation’s economy.

He added that about N6 million is lost to the illegal samples collection across the ports in the country on daily basis.
Tanko, who frowned on the illegalities of the officials of the two agencies, noted that the samples collection flouts principles of trade facilitation in the port.

He, however, threatened that the compliance team would resist and interrogate their operations from next February in a bid to promote trade facilitation and boost government revenue drive.

He reiterated that 100 per cent Compliance Team will ensure that samples that are subjected to laboratory test by the agencies must be returned to the shippers, accusing personnel of SON and NAFDAC for illicit practices.

On customs operations, he affirmed that issues of multiple alerts and Customs Intelligence Units interception of consignments at the seaports in Lagos will be tackled, noting that letters have been written to the Area Controllers of Apapa and Tin Can Island Port respectively.

Tanko, who doubles as the Deputy National President of NAGAFF, stressed that freight forwarding sub sector will experience a huge turnaround of vessels this year but urged the agencies of government to collaborate with the practitioners.