- Chinazor Megbolu. |
Barring last minutes intervention by relevant authorities, the nation’s seaports may be plunged into another round of crisis as angry freight forwarders and transporters have concluded arrangement to withdraw their services from January 2020 .
Rising from an emergency meeting Wednesday in Lagos, the group under the aegis of Concerned Freight Forwarders and Transporters (CFFT) said the strike action has become the last resort in its bid to draw the attention of Federal government to the operational challenges its members are facing at the ports.
The group, which is being spear headed by Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, the Vice President , Western Zone of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) , observed that all their pleas to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to intervene in the matter seems to have made no impact on the port regulatory agency, hence their decision to withdraw their services.
According to the amalgamated group, some of the challenges of their members include the issue of Presidential Task Team extorting its members daily to the tune of between N200-N300, break down of NPA’s call up system which has resulted to increased traffic gridlock and non compliance of shipping companies with NPA directive on provision of holding bay and unwarranted charges by Terminal Operators which have all combined to create unfriendly operating environment for its members.
They however set up a committee made up of members drawn from all the associations amongst them to map out strategy on how to carry out their planned protest.
They also frowned at the inhuman treatment always meted to its members by PTT, security agents and touts even sometimes, leading to loss of lives.
The meeting will reconvene on Friday, December 20, 2019 when the newly inaugurated committee members would meet to deliberate on matters of proposed action against the regulators and terminal operators.
“It’s a dawn of a new era and we are ready to die for this course because we believe in it. As long as it will achieve desired results”.
“We have held series of meetings with them over the years yet, they are not doing anything to help restore hope.
“The situation on ground is like monkey dey work, baboon dey chop”.
“We are facing untold hardship in the hands of these people but they don’t care”.
“They have been adamant to our plight over the years. We are going to engage a renowned Lawyer to help write a petition directly addressed to the President, Muhammadu Buhari”.
“All we need is total support in all ramifications. We’re very important in this industry but instead, we are being treated like slaves” they all chorused in angry voices.
Those who spoke during the event are; the Vice Chairman, CFFT, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, National President, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Chief Remi Olugbemi, the Secretary General, CFFT, Mr. Johnny Ubaka, AMATO Executive, Alhaji Mohammed Nada amongst others
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