APFFLON BERATES NAFDAC SHODDY MODE OF OPERATION
By Mcanthony Onuoha
The National Agency For Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has been vehemently criticized by Freight Agents under the umbrella of Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), for making cargo clearance more tasking as importers are now subjected to huge fiscal burden for avoidable delays.
The Association, through it’s National President, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite decried what it described as the Agency’s shoddy mode of operations, saying that the new electronic platform provided by NAFDAC that was expected to ease clearance of cargoes at the ports is now a curse to freight Agents and their importers. The system, APFFLON said was creating a serious bottleneck as accessing the platform has become a huge task on its own, blaming the Agency for lack of prompt and thorough sensitization of freight Agents on the new process before the introduction of the portal.
Addressing newsmen on Thursday last week,the National President of APPFLON said:”for all consignment that require NAFDAC authorization before clearance at the ports,it is now online. Besides,it is posing a great deal of problem to access the website let alone process the platform for the first and second stamping, of which, if not completed the person won’t be able to pay customs duty, meaning that freight forwarders would have to keep paying rent to terminals until the issue is resolved”.
In the contrast, the APPFLON National President partly exonorated the DG of NAFDAC, saying that she was doing her best but some unscrupulous elements are seriously sabotaging her efforts. In his words:” we are not against online, but the way they are handling the issue is disheartening, those working under her are the ones rubbishing her efforts; these people keep extorting everyone through their Campboys touting around the Agency’s office complex. The sad thing is that these touts prove to be so powerful that one has no option than to submit in order to achieve his or her goal since every staffer has a Campboy doing his or her bid within the office complex. This has in no doubt made nonsense of the entire process.”
Ogunojemite further expressed disappointment on the total failure of the automation server saying that people are being forced to go to NAFDAC office to carry out the process leading to mindless extortion, bribery and other shenanigans that the online platform set out to forestall”.
In conclusion, the Association charged the DG to always engage stakeholders as well as sanitize the system by getting rid of touts that resume at the office complex on daily basis before the Agency becomes a Haven for criminals, further stressing the need for the Agency to always embark on thorough sensitization of general public each time a new development is envisaged.