RE:THE STATEMENT CREDITED TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF NCMDLCA DURING A PRESS BRIEFING UNDER MARITIME ADVOCACY AND ACTION GROUP (MAAG) THE 9TH OCTOBER 2014

October 10, 2014

 

The President

National Council of Managing

Director of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA)

Apapa, Lagos.
Dear Sir,

RE:      THE STATEMENT CREDITED TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF NCMDLCA DURING A PRESS BRIEFING UNDER MARITIME ADVOCACY AND ACTION GROUP (MAAG) THE 9TH OCTOBER 2014

Sir, we noted with great concern the input of the Secretary General of National Council of Managing Director of Licensed Customs Agents (Mr. Ben Ndee) during a press conference on the 9th October 2014 in Apapa environ.  The conference which was alleged to be a syndicated conference for Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) was an embarrassment to freight agents and importers.

Mr. Ndee Ben who stressed the need for the Federal Government to amend SON’s enabling law, by giving it legal backing to arrest fake goods leaving the seaports; turned around to input that Section 17 a & b of SON Act gave it the power to intercept consignment on the city high ways.  He went further to suggest death sentence for any importer that brought in substandard products.  And for the emphasises, please read Section 17 a & b of SON Act and deduce whether this has given SON the powers to arrest containers on the city high ways.  We are expected to protect our members and clients but with this development, we wonder our relevance when the law itself does not suggest death penalty but rather corrective measures etc.

Section 17 a & b

Powers of the Director General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria in-relation to hazardous products.

1.)          The Director General may, upon being satisfied that the quality, purity or potency of any product (whether or not the subject of mandatory industrial standard) is such as to be detrimental or hazardous to life and property, apply to the Magistrates Court having jurisdiction in the area for an order.

(a)          To seize, destroy or prohibit any person from selling or offering for sale such products; or

(b)         Seal up the premises where such product is manufactured or stored; or

(c)          Direct the manufacturer to rectify the deficiency in the case of low product.

2.)          The Court may order that any product seized which in its opinion is hazardous or injurious to life shall be destroyed or disposed of in such manner as it thinks fit.

Mr. President, it is the understanding of the members of Maritime Advocacy and Action Group (MAAG) that only the Coordinator is at the moment authorized to speak to the Press, but for unauthorized persons to undertake this Press Conference underscores the relevance of MAAG at the moment.

It is our opinion that it is time for election in MAAG to flush out inconsequential’s from the system or MAAG may stand disbanded because the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) may not like to be associated with members of less integrity.  We think that NAGAFF/ANLCA/NCMDLCA are too big to be used for this kind of syndicated job.

May we again inform you that SON do not have the powers to arrest containers on the city high ways of Lagos or anywhere in Nigeria.  If you read from Sections 1 – 25 of the enabling Act of SON, there is no place you will find powers of the SON to arrest containers on the road but rather to visit owners warehouses/stores and or factory of manufacture of goods to obtain information.  Please see Section 18 (1 & 2).  The powers of SON under Section 23 to make rules must not be inconsistent with its enabling Act equally.  This is the law.

You may therefore wish to call your officer to order to stop deceiving the public and aligning your organization with the illegality of the SON enforcement Agency.  We are working with other responsible Government Agencies, Presidential Special Advisers on Maritime Matters and the Association of Nigerian Customs Licensed Agents (ANLCA) to stop the ongoing disobedience of the SON’s management on matters of rule of law in a democracy.  We are also putting up finishing touches to approach the Court with a view to cutting down the abuse of SON whose actions are definitely against the transformation agenda of Mr. President which is predicated on rule of law and development.  We regret to inform you that some of your members were being told to come forward with any related SON issue as they have established good relationship with the SON enforcement unit it is sad the betrayal and personal interest of these set of people.

 

MR. STEPHEN IBEH

Secretary Western Zone

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