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Importers lose N50b to Customs’ server failure – Group

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FREIGHT Forwarders operating under the aegis of Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders Importers and Exporters Coalitions (SNFFIEC) has blamed spates of incessant server failure of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to loss of over N50 billion income among their members.

  They say their members record such on weekly basis as importers using several ports across the nation.

  President of SNFFIEC, Dr. Chukwu Patrick, dropped this hint yesterday  in Apapa while fielding questions from reporters.

  According to him, the issue of Customs’ server failure has been a major problem in the maritime sector over the years but government failed to address them.

  “Our association will drag NCS and Web Fontaine, the ICT Customs designer to a Federal High Court for N100 billion compensation for importers for some of their losses over reoccurring server failure. Despite pleas by freight forwarders and stakeholders in the maritime industry to have another server provider who will assist the Web Fontaine, he lamented that the NCS decided to monopolise the server provider due to precautionary gains.

  According to him, the NCS and shipping industry and other operators are working hands in hand to demurrage for importers to pay through the consistent server failure leading to demurrages for importers. Server issue has been a problem over the years in this industry and nobody has addressed it.

  “They addressed the matter in what you called a very low key way because if you want to address a matter and you failed to address it properly, that matter will never be addressed. The NCS is yet to rise up to this challenges that is being created by Webb Fontaine who has been contracted by the Nigeria Customs Service.”

We have made a proposal to Customs to allow us bring in somebody from US to address the server issue but to no avail. And every time they keep telling us server is down so what happened to the demurrages that we the users are paying?

Nobody talks about that. Whenever this issue of server failure happened to shipping companies, Nigerian Shippers Council will compel them to pay or swallow whatever the demurrage may be and they always concur. But whenever it happens between Customs, they don’t care and Nigerian citizenry are feeling so bad that nothing has been done to get to the logical conclusion of this matter,” he said.

  However, he said there was need for the government to take  drastic steps and expedite actions in addressing the server failure issues holistically without fear and favour for any one.

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