Group decries domination of freight forwarding business by foreigners - THE GUARDIAN
By Adaku Onyenucheya
Customs agents have lamented the domination of Nigeria’s freight forwarding business by multinationals.
This is just as the association allege that China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), contractors of the multi-billion dollar rail project in Nigeria, has failed to involve indigenous firms in the clearing of the project cargoes.
The association has equally accused other multinational shipping lines including Maersk Line, APM Terminal and MSC Shipping of snatching jobs meant for indigenous freight forwarding practitioners.
Speaking at the recent National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association in Lagos, the Acting President of ANLCA, Dr Kayode Farinto, said the association is making moves through the National Assembly to change the narrative.
He said ANLCA has lawyers and put up a bill on the need to indigenise “Customs Brokerage”, which is a nucleus of freight forwarding, to be left for Nigerians alone.
According to Farinto, if the bill is passed, Nigerian freight forwarders will be generating 25 per cent employment among the youths on a yearly basis.
“Foreigners have taken over 90 per cent of our jobs, by practicing door to door services or allowing non-functional Nigerians to be members as directors in their companies.
“We are losing our jobs gradually, we now have multinationals like Maersk Line, AP Mollar, MSC Shipping and so on, they have all registered freight forwarding firms.
“CCECC is the company in charge of constructing rails in Nigeria, but CCECC now has a clearing department, is it supposed to be so? CCECC would import, they are also the ones that would clear the cargo.”
“About five years ago I had a consignment at Cotonou port, I had my Bill of Laden, despite being a customs broker in Nigeria, I could not clear my consignment at Cotonou port, I had to give it to an indigenous practitioner.
“Very few members of the association are currently involved in the clearing of project cargoes. We now have a situation whereby Lebanese, Indians are now licensed as customs brokers and Controllers of customs even give them more respect than the Nigerians. A major issue that is going to be a tsunami in the sector is indigenisation of customs brokerage,” he concluded.