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NAGAFF threatens litigation against bonded terminals for poor cargo handling

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Segun Oladipupo

The 100 percent Compliance Team of the National Association of Governmemt Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has threatened law suits against bonded terminals that handle cargoes of agents and importers inappropriately.

The group accused some bonded terminals of  not having what it takes to be cargo handlers.

National Coordinator of the group, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko ,who stated this on Friday, expressed displeasure with how agents are treated and sometimes made to get into troubles with their clients.

The group had organised a protest against APMT before the prompt  intervention by hierarchy of  NAGAFF saved the situation from degenerating into a crisis.

Tanko disclosed that the association has seasoned lawyers who would help drag the erring terminals to court for lack of requisite infrastructure and handling equipment.

According to him, fragile goods were often damaged in some of the bonded terminals due to poor handling equipment which in turn creates misunderstanding between importers and freight agents.

Tanko maintained that the protest suspension at the foremost  container terminals at APMT Apapa might continue on Tuesday next week if the dialogue between management of terminal, officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and members of the freight forwarding community does not yield positive response.

The Coordinator alleged that a large number of bonded terminals do not have the equipment to run such facilities, adding that team is currently compiling lists of defaulting terminals.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that dialogue between the concessionaire and freight agents ended on a positive note.

Our correspondent learnt that the group and management of APMT agreed on the followings: INCREASED  NUMBER  OF CONTAINERS  FOR POSITIONING FROM 100 TO 180 PER DAY INCLUDING WEEKENDS.

STOPPING OF EXTRA CHARGES FOR  MISSED POSITIONINGS  DUE TO THEIR OWN NEGLIGENCE.

Others are: REFUND OF EXCESS CHARGES WITH PROOF OF PAYMENT. And A WRITTEN UNDERTAKING OF THE ABOVE WILL BE MADE ON TUESDAY. ”

Also speaking on the sideline, Secretary of the NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team, Clement Iwegbuna said the port concessionaire had made agents to pay more demurrage on consignments.

Iwegbuna fumed that agents pay for services not rendered by the concessionaires, adding that most jobs are at stake due to irregularities of the terminal operators.

He said freight forwarding has to do with integrity and trust but  added the terminal operator have failed to do the needful to facilitate trade.

On his part, Chief of Staff to the National Coordinator, 100% Compliance Team of NAGAFF, Bert Okeke affirmed that some of the bonded terminals are clogs in the wheel of cargo progress.

Okeke noted that the team would engage the bonded terminal operators by next week for them to step up in facilitating trade.

© 2021, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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