Covid-19: NCMDLCA, Five Star Logistics agree on modality to refund storage charges to members

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…As Oladipo dissociates group from Amiwero-led NCMDLCA

The leadership of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) and the management of the Five Star Logistics Terminal at Tincan Island Port, yesterday agreed on modality to ensure the refund of the storage charge paid by members of the association during the lockdown period of Lagos, Ogun and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja as a containment strategy for the Coronavirus pandemic otherwise known as Covid-19 by the federal government.

It will be recalled that the Nigerian Ports Authority had on the 27th of March, 2020 issued a statement directing all the terminal operators operating at the Lagos ports to suspend collection of storage charges and all applicable charges due as a way of cushioning the effect of the lockdown on the importers and their agents with effect from the 23rd of March, 2020.

Speaking exclusively to our correspondent on the outcome of meeting, the Chairman, Board of Directors, NCMDLCA, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo disclosed that having discussed at their office, they had come to meet with the management of the terminal so as to align with the federal government’s directive, that freight forwarders that had paid any rent within the period would get a refund.

According to him, “But he has also told us that all monies paid and receipted should be forwarded to them online and then they will look at it and ensure that refund was made to those that have paid. The details he has given us, we have also told him that we are ready, as responsible men, Managing Directors of companies, employers of labour, we don’t believe in violence, we don’t believe in doing things the other way round. We believe in approaching all issues logically as responsible people and then come to a table and discuss the matter and agree amicably on the needful.

“This is why we are here and we are happy that we have received a very good response from them. We are going back to inform and educate all members who belong to our group on what they should do for them to get a refund for monies paid within this period.”

Oladipo however dissociated the group from the Lucky Amiwero faction of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) which he said believe in violence and in “doing things the other way round.”

His words, We are not part of that group; we dissociate ourselves from that group. That group is not with us, that group is a faction that believes in violence. That group is a faction that believes in doing things the other way round, not in a responsible manner.

“I that am talking to you was the first National President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents and the man leading them was my PRO when we started the Council of Managing Directors. For you information, I became the first National President of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents in 1986 and I believe in doing things orderly, I believe in dialoguing with people, even the man leading them, the problem between him and this group is that he has been there for 21 years as President, never wanted any election.

“Nothing lasts forever, we have to democratize. I have called him severally to say look, it is time for you to bow out but if you don’t want to bow out, let us go by way of election, let them re-elect you. You cannot be there and be calling yourself a life President. Where does that happen around the world? Life President of an association that you don’t finance? Each member is a Managing Director of his company and they are employers of labour. That has been the crux.

“He has taken this group to court severally and this group has won him four times. We are still in court for another one, when you win him here, he goes to another one and we don’t believe in this jungle way of doing things, we are civilized people, we are responsible people. We are calling on all Managing Directors of companies to dissociate themselves from violence, it does nobody any good. Look at the way we came in, nobody knew we came in, we went in there and discussed and we were happy with the men and they were happy with us and they came up with matters and issues that will resolve the whole thing and we are happy with them.”

On the picketing of some terminals and shipping companies by the Amiwero faction of the association, Oladipo who is also the President General of the Nigerian Football Supporters’ Club had this to say,” We have written letters to the CRFFN, to the NPA, to the Shippers’ Council even to the Inspector General of Police, we have dissociated ourselves from their action, we are law abiding citizens.”

He therefore advised the members of the association to stay calm and be law abiding saying “then let us see how we resolve this matter amicably, all of them will get their refund as and when necessary. They should not resort to violence.”

Photo: The Chairman, Board Directors, NCMDLCA, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo.

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