CRFFN threatens Customs brokers over strike action at ports. 

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CRFFN threatens Customs brokers over strike action at ports. 

Abiola Seun

The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has warned the leadership of clearing agents operating at the nation’s seaports that they risk arrest over ongoing strike action.

Recall that clearing agents have stopped cargo clearance at the seaports over the refusal of terminal operators and shipping companies to waive storage and demurrage charges as directed by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

However, in a press statement, the Registrar of the Council, Barr. Sam Nwakohu said the failure of the head of the various associations in the industry to nip the strike action in the bud may provoke serious consequences from government.

He said,

“If this developing trend is not nipped in the bud as quickly as possible, we fear it may attract serious consequences from the federal government and the Associations’ leadership may be held responsible.

“We have heard unofficially, that a fraction of freight forwarders has embarked on strike action which we consider illegal and a serious threat to the life of teeming Nigerians relying on the supply chain for their essential supplies.

“We want to believe that you understand the urgency of the times we are in and the fact that the Federal government classifies freight forwarding as essential service especially in the context of #COVID -19.”

“While appreciating the Federal government for underscoring the importance of freight forwarding profession, we must not engage in anything that will jeopardize the efforts of government in containing the #COVID -19 pandemic as well as sustain the lives of people.”

” Any action obstructing the flow of the essential supply chain at this time may be tantamount to sabotage of a high order. The situation we are in is similar to a war time and those entrusted with ensuring the sustainable flow of life support essentials must be professional enough and ethically responsible in the discharge of their duties.”

” I therefore, urge you to act fast to arrest this development by ensuring a reversal of the strike action while we work together to address whatever challenges that are confronting freight forwarding at this time. Please bear in mind that the #COVID -19 Maritime task team (comprising all stakeholders) is fully on ground to address any complaints affecting #COVID -19 operations at the ports.”

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