The Chapter Chairman of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Tincan Island Chapter, Chief Augustine Azubike Ekweozor has as a matter of urgency ordered its members to boycott and disassociate themselves from the joint strike action which will lead to shutting down business activities at Tincan Island Container Terminal (TICT).
Ekweozor who made this known in a press release he issued in Lagos last Thursday following a directive from the NAGAFF National Headquarters stated that,” The planned strike action which is proposed to commence on Monday, 1st June 2015, is being hatched by our sister association in order to disrupt business at one of the nation’s biggest port, where the Nigeria Custom Service collect its revenue on behalf of federal government”.
The Chairman who since assumption of office has maintained a cordial relationship with sister associations equally noted as follows: “Firstly, the planned strike action, could be tagged operational ambushing, since adequate notices might not have been communicated to other Port users, more so as alternate means of addressing nagging operational issues has not been exhausted”.
Moreover, the County is presently passing through a critical moment in its chequered history, the on-going fuel crisis and its attendant consequences made such an action in-auspicious, as the country is on edge. Such action will further stretch the elastic fibre of the nation’s security and increase the suffering of the masses”.
“Although, we are aware that in the recent time, strike actions seems to be the easiest accessible tool of drawing government attention to persistent health, social, economic challenges or problems. But, obviously, not at this critical time when Nigeria is at a cross road and a threshold of history. A moment like this calls for serious caution on the part of each citizen. This is time to bar up our sense of patriotism as responsive citizens of our Great Country”.
“More importantly, the freight forwarding industry is presently going through controversies at the national level, one of which is the collection of operational operating fees by CRFFN”. In the same vein, I wish to use this medium to plead with our aggrieved sister association to tread with caution and explore all avenues of peaceful dialogue with concerned authority before considering the maxim”.
“In view of this, the new government will at least settle down to work, part of which will be to appoint a committee that will look into all pending issues militating against the process of maritime sector, in view of the myriad of challenges already presented to the new administration during pre-administrative considerations” .
“It will be recall that each time any of the stakeholder within the supply chain, especially the professional associations embark on strike or withdrawal of Services, the huge revenue lost which usually trailed such action, is indirectly being shifted to the poor masses who happen to be the final consumers of goods and services imported into the Country”.
“I believe it is not proper to engage in any action that could be construed to mean economic sabotage”, he said.