A freight forwarding group, Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has expressed fear that the move by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to return to the ports may jeopardise the objective of the Single Window aimed at reducing the number of government agencies, congestion, turnaround time of vessels and cargoes.
APFFLON rather advised SON to promote synergy with other agencies especially Customs and other stakeholders to facilitate an effective and efficient cargo release process than dissipating energy on return to the ports.
Frank Ogunojemite, President of APFFLON, gave the advice in an interview with PortNews over the weekend, saying that SON should promote indigenous products that can develop the nation’s economy than encouraging importations while taking into consideration the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) which is aimed at promotion and development of local goods.
“SON is seeking a return to port. Why? Going back to the ports will sabotage the aims and objectives of the Single Window which are aimed at reducing the number of government agencies, congestion, and turnaround times of vessels and cargo clearance that lead to demurrage.
“The organisation, I mean SON, should promote synergy with other agencies especially Customs and other stakeholders rather than being desperate to go back to the ports. It can have affiliations with products’ countries of origin on quality control rather than wasting government resources. We need to adopt international best standards instead of looking for avenues for exploitation.
“SON should come out with a strong proposal to the federal government that will encourage our local manufacturers. It should be thinking of how the government will generate money through the export of our own products.
“With the take-off AfCFTA and Nigeria being a signatory, our government should consult widely and do a thorough analysis before taking decisions as regards the economy most especially the port industry. We expect SON to be talking about promoting MANCAP rather than agitating to be stationed at ports.
”Improvement in our exchange rates and value of Naira encourages local goods productions and this should be of importance to the management of SON now,” said Ogunojemite.