The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has written to President Buhammadu Buhari over the influx of substandard products into Nigeria through the ports in a letter signed by its general secretary, Dr Arthur Igwilo, and entitled, “The Menace of Substandard and Fake Products in our Markets- Remote Causes.”
The NAGAFF identified as major causes of influx fake products into the country, “the quality assurance mechanism of government agencies which seem to place more premium on revenue generation,” and “the unstable policies of government which leave the officials of the agencies and trading public confused.”
The freight forwarders association noted that about two years ago most of the regulatory agencies of the federal government were asked to vacate ports, but most of them are now back.
“The laws establishing these agencies made them primarily service-oriented to protect the lives and properties of the people. This seems to have been relegated to the background as they now compete with revenue generating agencies of government as to which agencies will generate higher revenue. The irony of the situation is that these officials are alleged to have been compromised by collecting bribes from the people they are expected to regulate and look the other way when the laws of the land are being breached.
“Mr President Sir, closely related to this is the propensity of some of our people to always try to circumvent the law to their advantage. Unfortunately, they usually find willing accomplices in officials of these government agencies who are willing to compromise their offices for a “pot of porridge.” These officers allow these goods to come into our markets because they have been “settled,” the letter reads in part.
On unstable policies of government, the NAGAFF said, “This leaves the officials of the agencies and trading public confused as about two years ago most of the regulatory agencies of the government were asked to vacate the ports and operate from outside. We regret to inform you that some of them are back to the ports unjustifiably. One other thing we have observed is that some of the officials of these agencies are round pegs in square holes. The same thing extends to the appointments of people into strategic positions, especially, the top hierarchy, in these agencies.