The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may be invited by the minister of transport, Rotimi Amaechi, to begin the probe of some clearing agents under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA) over their involvement in the collection of agents practicing operations fee (POF) at the ports and borders. LEADERSHIP…
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may be invited by the minister of transport, Rotimi Amaechi, to begin the probe of some clearing agents under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA) over their involvement in the collection of agents practicing operations fee (POF) at the ports and borders.

LEADERSHIP Friday gathered that the minister had directed the ANLCA and others involved in the same practice to stop further collection of practicing fees which they have allegedly been collecting illegally at the ports.

At a meeting with the leadership of the five registered freight forwarding associations in Abuja, recently, Amaechi also reportedly directed that all monies that have so far been collected in the past years by the ANLCA be accounted for and threatened to invite the EFCC in to probe the collections.

Sources present at the meeting said that Amaechi had equally directed the head of the Legal Department of the ministry to visit the ANLCA secretariat as well as others in order to investigate the alleged illegal collections, but in his response at the meeting, the ANLCA president, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, said that the minister was not properly briefed and that the money in question is being collected only from the ANLCA members as dues to the association.

Amaechi said, “What I understand is that the money belongs to the federal government and you are collecting it by force. I want this money accounted for and you must stop further collection. If you don’t account for this money, I have asked the Legal Department to find out the nitty gritty of all the collections and report back to me so that if any federal government’s money is embezzled, I will direct the EFCC to arrest all presidents of the associations to give account of the money.”

Shittu had attended the meeting with a member of the board of trustees and a former president, Chief Ernest Elochukwu. The NAGAFF president, Chief Eugene Nweke, was absent and there was no representation from his association. Others in attendance were the president of the AREFFN, Dr Frank Ukor, NACMDLCA, Chief Festus Ejiorfor, and president NAFFAC, Chief C.A.T Agubama. Reacting to the development in a chat with our correspondent, Ukor confirmed that the association is expecting the legal team from the ministry to visit its secretariat, saying that the controversial money are the monies collected by the ANLCA at all airports, Port Harcourt and Onne ports. He said that the money is usually deducted from source and that it is not only the ANLCA members that are paying it. Ukor argued that the POF is not an illegal collection because it has been approved and gazetted by the federal government to be collected by the CRFFN.

He said, “The ANLCA only applied to the court to get an injunction against the collection and it has not been granted. So all those saying that the matter is in court are talking out of ignorance because the matter is not yet in court, it is only when the court grants them injunction that the collection can stop. The last time we were in court, the judge directed that the status quo should remain, and this means that the CRFFN can collect the money,” he said.

 

The post EFCC May Probe Clearing Agents Over Fees Collections At Ports appeared first on Nigerian News from Leadership News.

Source:Nigerian News from Leadership News