The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has given reasons why foreigners are dominating the freight forwarding business in the country.

The position of the service is coming on the heels of complaints in some quarters that foreigners have infiltrated the freight forwarding business to the detriment of their indigenous counterparts.

While confirming that it has been issuing Customs license to foreign companies which engage in cargo clearance at the nation’s seaports, airports and international land borders, the NCS said one of the reasons why foreigners have dominated the clearing business was because Nigerians lack good managerial skills to handle positions and carry out work effectively.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Tin Can Island Port Command, Apapa, Lagos, Comptroller Musa Abdullahi stated this recently while receiving the new executives of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) in his office.

Abdullahi said the clamour by licensed customs agents for the indigenisation of goods clearance at all the entry ports may not be achieved due to lack of managerial ability and competence by indigenous freight forwarders.

His words: “I think the reason why foreigners are taking over our jobs and not just the freight forwarding business is because we are not good managers. So many Nigerians are complacent in their work and that is why you will find foreigners in almost all the sectors in Nigeria. When you come to the port, you will see Indians and nationals of other countries taking over the freight forwarding business.

“When you go to the schools, you will find the Ghanaians taking over the teaching profession. Even many of these commercial motorcycle riders popularly called okada you see in the port areas are not Nigerians. Some are from Niger Republic, Togo and some other neighbouring countries. Even in the aviation sector, you will see that some of the airlines are being handled by foreigners because they possess good managerial skills. Where is the Nigerian Airways, Chachangi Airline, IRS Airline and other indigenous airlines?

In fact, the technical aspects of some of the existing airlines are handled by foreigners. But I believe if the government can come up with training programmes that will improve the productivity of our people, this will go a long way in saving our jobs”.

The President of MARAN, Mr. Anya Njoku had earlier in his opening remarks decried how foreigners have taken over the clearance of cargoes in the nation’s seaports, airports and international land borders.

Njoku expressed dismay that foreigners had taken over almost all the processes of cargo clearance at the nation’s seaports, airports and international land borders thereby kicking out their Nigerian counterparts from business.

“If nothing is done urgently to correct the trend, Nigerians will lose their jobs. As it is, the essence of government setting up the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding of Nigeria (CRFFN) has not been achieved because the role of the CRFFN, among other things, is to protect indigenous interest,” he said.

Njoku accused foreign freight forwarders of placing orders with suppliers of the firm, shipping cargo into the country, clearing them and delivering them to the consignees.


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