NAGAFF secures release of vehicles trapped at Clarion terminal

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has secured the release of eight out of the 11 vehicles seized by Clarion West Africa Shipping Management in June 2021.

Ibrahim Tanko, the national chairman of the NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team, told newsmen that the feat was achieved after a long negotiation among parties involved and despite the fact that it was not an easy task.

Tanko, who spoke through Bert Okeke, his chief of staff and secretary of the team, said the team came to present to the general public the vehicles NAGAFF through the Compliance Team negotiated out of Clarion Bonded Terminal that has been in dispute since 2021.

According to him, the said vehicles were held back over the dispute between NAGAFF members and management of Clarion West Africa Shipping but the team has been able to secure their release out of the terminal.

On whether they paid demurrage for the vehicles as earlier demanded by Clarion, he said, NAGAFF was able to secure a 100 percent waiver through the help of Tochukwu Ezisi, president of the association, and Boniface Aniebonam, founder of NAGAFF as both were able to secure the intervention of the Customs Area Controller of Tin-Can Island Command.

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“We never paid a dime on demurrage and I commend Customs for that. I also commend Nigeria Customs Service for their magnanimity as well as the management of Clarion Bonded Terminal, who respected us and Customs to give peace a chance. I must give credit to them,” he said.

In his reaction, Chidi Nzewi, an importer and one of the owners of the seized vehicles, expressed gratitude to NAGAFF for their intervention and called on all other freight forwarders in the industry who may have genuine cases to approach NAGAFF for mediation.

Recall that efforts made by the clearing agency to get the vehicles released over a year ago proved abortive until NAGAFF through its 100% Compliance Team stepped into the matter.

The team staged a protest against the management of Clarion Bonded Terminal three months ago, demanding unconditional release of the said vehicles to their members who own the vehicles.

According to the team, the vehicles were cleared with all duties and charges paid but Clarion management refused to let go since June last year on the basis that the clearing Agency has an unpaid demand notice to settle, which has nothing to do with the said vehicles.

It was gathered that the three remaining vehicles would be released before the end of the week.