By ZION Olalekan
Fresh indications have emerged that despite repeated calls by maritime operators that the 6,000 overtime cargoes littering the ports should be transferred to government warehouse at Ikorodu, shipping companies and terminal operators have refused to allow the cargoes leave.
Chairman Ikorodu Customs Government Warehouse chapter of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Comrade Obinna Okafor lamented that the Nigeria Customs Service has not been transferring overtime cargoes to the warehouse.
Okafor also used the opportunity to appeal to the Nigeria customs service to ensure that all overtime containers which the consignees are ready to take delivery of, through their respective freight forwarders be expressly transferred to Nigeria customs Ikorodu warehouse.
He said “Customs are in charge of overtime cargo movement, they have the political backing to control anything called overtime cargo, since we have all these overtime cargoes congesting the port and making normal clearing difficult, the consignees cannot take the delivery of their cargoes considering the demurrage, the shipping companies are not ready to come down, I have been opportune trying to help some people to get demurrage waiver from these shipping companies but believe you me, they did not honour the request, the highest they can give you is ten percent.
“Consignments should be taken to government warehouse at Ikorodu to allow consignees who are ready to pay government duty take their delivery, then, any token they can pay to the shipping companies or NPA should also be paid. But because of the billions shipping companies are making, they don’t want to follow the due process”.
Okafor stressed that Customs are the owners of overtime cargoes, and as such, they do not need NPA approval because NPA has already concessioned the port.
Obinna expressed fears about getting someone to replace the founder of NAGAFF, Dr Boniface Aniebonam who officially bowed out of the association last week in Lagos.
Okafor described Aniebonam as a philanthropist and a man worthy of emulation, as he has distinguished himself among others.
While extolling the virtues of Aniebonam, Obinna said “His great service in the country have presented him as a selfless patriot, and I doubt that there will be anyone near as good as he is, he has continued to serve as a source of inspiration and a testimony to the fact that honesty, selflessness, and love for one another are tenets we all need to imbibe to build the nation of our dreams.
“He has attained lofty heights not just as an accomplished selfless freight forwarder, but also in the committed service of community, country and our common humanity”.
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