FREIGHT FORWARDERS GOT IT WRONG : APFFLON REACTS TO NAFDAC’S REJOINDER
The attention of Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), has been drawn to a rejoinder by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), published on the 16th of June, 2020,by Verity News Online in response to a media briefing where APFFLON protested the Agency’s inability to address the non functionality of its newly introduced electronic portal, and the loss of fiscal cash and man-hours incurred by Manufacturers, importers and Freight Forwarders due to delays in accessing the NAFDAC Portal.
The media protest captioned : “APFFLON BERATES NAFDAC SHODDY MODE OF OPERATION,”and published on the 8th day of June,2020 by Business Update online was a protest made following the outcries of freight forwarders on their bitter experiences with the Agency in the course of the online processing of the clearance of NAFDAC regulated products at Various Ports and land borders.
We want to hereby state clearly that APPFLON is made up of responsible and patriotic Nigerians who have no reasons whatsoever to run any individual or organization down, but stick to verifiable facts. The association is not inclined to make spurious allegations but samples opinions from those in the field before raising its voice as an Advocacy group. We will continue to do what is needful and will neither allow intimidation nor cheap blackmail to stand in our way, we must continue to come up with verifiable facts before raising a voice against any individual, group of people or organizations that would want to jeopardize the Ease of Doing Business, or sit back to watch freight forwarders impoverished due to the inefficiency or lackadaisical attitudes of public servants in Government agencies.
If at all the accusation is false or concocted as NAFDAC claims, let it make public proof of any sensitization program it organised even before the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria. We as an Advocacy group will continue to resist every act of unprofessionalism regardless of whose ox is gored.
It is laughable that the DG of NAFDAC who is yet to visit any port facility since her assumption of office for any form of sensitization programme now accuses an association that desires to see the Agency improve on its performances as “a group known for having a penchant for discrediting sincere and innovative systems tend to eliminate all sharp practices…,” even as it’s staff station touts who receive kickbacks from people on their behalf before rendering services to them. For this singular reason, NAFDAC cannot exonerate itself from sharp practices.
It is very painful saying that APFFLON thrives on running down sincere and innovative systems because we often table facts exposing their shenanigans. And we would have advised that the energy the Agency dissipated in putting up so lengthy a rejoinder would have been used in planning a critical sensitization programme for stakeholders especially on the easier way of processing transactions on the Agency’s portal.
However, APFFLON believes that without the Public outcry,that prompted the protest published online, NAFDAC wouldn’t have deemed it necessary to come up with the long episode that convey its critical information and guidelines for its operations.
NAFDAC cannot judge itself, it is only through opinion poll that they can ascertain the quality of their services to Nigerians. Instead of creating an enabling environment for ease of doing business, and ensuring the efficiency of its electronic portal,the Agency is trying so hard to exonerate itself of any form of blame.
We are not castigating anyone but must continue on the path of truth, we want agencies and governmental organizations to always be efficient and transparent with good and workable systems that can compete with international best practices, even as we can testify to the good efforts of other government agencies like Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC),Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), CRFFN etc.
In July 2016,His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari set up The Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council ( PEBEC) , if at all there is no room for business improvement in the country there wouldn’t have been anything like PEBEC, and what we earnestly yearn for is improvement in radical sectors. We are not surprised by the rejoinder but critical appraisal of the Agency by general public would further expose its shoddy mode of operations expecially in vital administrative areas.