The National association of Government approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has threatened to lead a coalition of freight forwarders and licensed customs agents associations to stop what it termed the seeming fraud at the Port and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) occasioned by illegal collection of access card fees in the terminal.
In a statement signed by the Head, Special Duties, NAGAFF Headquarters, Rev. Emmanuel Agubanze, the association recalled that it had severally complained to the Nigerian Ports (NPA) Authority and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) that the policy on ease of doing business was not being appreciated, going by the expectation of stakeholders.
It noted that the e concept of ease of doing business was targeted at removal of human element barriers against smooth clearance of cargo out of Customs control adding that it was primarily made to create a high level of awareness on port orders and regulations.
“It is most unfortunate and regrettable that value is not being added to that effect as envisaged. PTML may have become a Government of its own in our ports administration is most unfortunate and sad”, it stated.
NAGAFF wondered how PTML management could impose fees on freight agents authorized by law to have access to terminals in the course of carrying out their legitimate businesses even as it recalled that the Honourable Minister of Transport, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Ameachi, had signed into effect and directed that access into the ports terminal for the freight forwarders required the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) identification supported by the Nigerian Ports Authority’s approval.
It continued,” It is to our knowledge that it is only NPA that can collect administrative charge for the issuance of port passes. It is therefore to the contrary that a terminal operator should impose an illegal charge with regard to access into the port. In reality what PTML management is doing is like asking lawyers to pay fees before they could enter court room.
“The contract terms of the terminal operators does not include or envisage such imposition. It is therefore our opinion that the management of Nigerian Ports Authority and or the commercial regulator agency of the Government should immediately initiate an action to recover all illegal monies collected from the defenseless Port Users and Freight Agents in particular, by the PTML management ever since it commenced the illegal collection. It is our expectation forthwith that the Enforcement Unit of Nigerian Ports Authority and Nigerian Shippers’ Council should move in to dismantle the illegal fees being collected by PTML about 10years ago.
“It is also the expectation of the coalition of Freight Agents under the control and regulation of Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to engage the management of PTML to respect the laws governing our country. This press release may be the 1st and last notice to the PTML management team because our country is not a banana republic”.
Photo: L-R: Secretary General of NAGAFF, Mr. Dipo Olayoku, founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam and the National President of NAGAFF, Chief Increase Uche during a press conference in Lagos on Friday.
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