The Rivers/Bayelsa Shippers Association has said that freight forwarders need training on the job to cope with the new trend of automation being canvassed by the Nigerian Shippers Council.
The President of RIBASA, Mr Ofon Udofia, newsmen in Port Harcourt, River State, on Monday that most freight forwarders were incompetent, a development, which, according to him, contributed to the challenges facing importers and exporters in Port Harcourt and Onne ports.
His words, “It is not that all of them are bad; but now that there is the drive for automation or paperless work, a lot of them cannot cope very well. Some of them cannot fill a form, which is about your name, you phone number and address.”
Udofia said the major issues faced by many importers in Port Harcourt and Onne ports were recurring laxity on the part of some Nigeria Customs Service agents.
Some of them, he alleged, just collect money from the shippers without doing a good job, thereby causing importers a lot of delay and loss of resources.
The experienced ones do not demonstrate the zeal and competence to do a fast job, he added. “Those in this category simply engage the services of serving customs officers to do the clearing for them.”
The RIBASA boss said the issue had been affecting the 24-hour clearing process at the ports, apart from the issue of insecurity in the country.
He disclosed his association’s plan to approach the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents and National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders to sponsor the training of the practitioners on the changing trends in clearing.
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