A container belonging to a Cameroonian business man based in Canada has been at Douala sea port for three months despite having fulfilled all financial obligation in the clearing process.
Ajeibit Nathaniel writing to Mimi Mefo Info said “…I have paid the sum of nine million francs cfa at the port yet the woman in charge is still demanding more money without any authentic justification. Felicite Landryne Mamtha Kamdem is asking an additional sum of two million francs cfa.”
However Felicite Landryne Mamtha Kamdem has described the accusations as unfounded. “…Ajeibit Nathaniel has a clearing agent called Laurent Tetsopguim. He ascertained that he was to pay the sum of eleven million francs cfa to get his container out of the port following a bill from the custom office. So what he has to do now is to pay the two million francs left for the container to be out. The problem is between him and his clearing agent”.
In an audio conversation between Ajeibit Nathaniel and Felicite Landryne Mamtha Kamdem (Worker at the sea port), she declared that the importer (Ajeibit Nathaniel) needs to pay money at each stage of the clearing process.
To her “… it’s not everything you pay for in the clearing process that you get a receipt.They are under the table sums that you give to workers to facilitate the process.”
Ajeibit Nathaniel says he considers such under the table payments an open proclamation of corrupt practice by a network comprises of some workers at the port including his clearing agent.
In a telephone interview with Laurent Tetsopguim; the clearing agent,he stated that Felicite Landryne Mamtha Kamdem was responsible for the payment of the money not him.
“Despite this, I can assure you that the customs service in the port has noted that the container of Mr Ajeibit Nathaniel was fraudulently declared. Instead of eleven million francs cfa, it was stated that he will pay the sum of nine million francs.”
In an audio conversation between Ajeibit Nathaniel and Defor Angwafor; customs inspector at Douala sea port, he stated “…Mr Ajeibit your custom duties were fraudulently reduced.You have four cars in your container coming from Canada and therefore following the text you have to pay the sum of eleven million francs cfa. The fact that you have not completed this money is what is delaying the release of your container.”
An accusation of fraudulent reduction of customs duties that Ajeibit Nathaniel has denied.
“I have paid all the money demanded. I am worried about my container.I may end up losing everything since it has been for more than two months at the port. My container has been opened already for inspection purposes. Right now, I am also worried about getting the container out from the port without all my goods as I imported them. Besides, I am incurring a high cost each passing day that the container is at the port”.
According to Ajeibit Nathaniel, “…based on the documented charges at my disposal,my container will have cost the sum of 6.7 million francs cfa. So I don’t understand why additional 2 million francs after paying nine million”.
As the importer Ajeibit Nathaniel continue the argument with workers at the Douala sea port and his clearing agent, the continues stay of the container at the port is incurring charges to be paid by the importer at the end of the day. He is launching a call for competent authorities to intervene not only to get his container released but to safe the image of Cameroon that has been partly rubbed in the mud at the port.
The situation has baffled many Cameroonians who have been assured several times by Cameroon custom department that clearing goods from the port takes just forty eight hours. The delay observers say is not an isolated case as many have abandoned their goods at the port following what they call exaggerated administrative bottlenecks by workers of the port.
By Mbatho Ntan.