The Chairman, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) Apapa Chapter, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko has said that the Apapa Joint Freight Forwarding Associations which recently embarked on withdrawal of services at the AP Moller Terminal (APMT) and ENL Terminal both in Apapa achieved 70% of their demands.
Recall that the freight forwarders under the aegis of Joint Associations Committee (JAC) and which comprised of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFF), the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) and the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) penultimate week embarked on withdrawal of service to protest inefficient service delivery and high cost of doing business at both terminals.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen in Lagos Tuesday, Tanko said that discussions were ongoing on the remaining objects of their withdrawal of service with a view to forestalling any future occurrence.
According to him,” as you can see, we have five issues at hand. Among those five issues, we succeeded in having four among which are that TDO (terminal delivery order) validity shall be extended for a further 12 hours by APMT after expiration, that the demurrages that accrued during the period of the strike will be waived off, that booking of containers for physical examination/scanning by APMT shall commence from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm daily and that examination of containers shall commence from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm daily”.
“The remaining one that we are having here is the issue of returning of empty containers, we don’t want to be returning empty containers to APMT. We want empty containers to be going directly to the shipping companies. If shipping companies have holding bays, we will be taking those containers to each company’s holding bay”.
He however said that a meeting was held on Monday with all the shipping companies operating in Lagos in attendance where they all sat and discussed the issue of shipping companies procuring holding bays where their containers would be returned to instead of taking them to APMT as was the case before the strike.
He disclosed that at the end of the deliberation, the Lagos Port Manager, Mr. Nasir Anas Mohammed mandated the shipping companies to come up with their holding bays within two weeks beginning from Monday, the 17th day of November, 2014.
“And we agreed there that after that two weeks and they failed to provide holding bays, that we are go no longer going to return empty containers to APMT, we are going to be returning those empty containers to the shipping companies’ offices”, he said.
On the issue of dropping all the containers listed on the bill of lading for examination/scanning, Alhaji Tanko has this to say,” it is still pending, even the time of booking is still pending. So, we achieved 70% of our demands, the remaining ones , they are still discussing that with the Minister of Transport at Abuja as am are talking to you now”.