NCMDLCA visits Ports & Cargo management, discusses operational challenges of members


National Executives of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) on Tuesday paid a courtesy visit to the management of the Ports & Cargo terminal at the Tincan Island ports where they discussed operational challenges their members are confronted with at the terminal.

The team which was led on the visit by the Chairman, Board of Trustees, NCMDLCA, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo also had the executives of the Tincan Island chapter in attendance.

Speaking shortly after the visit, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, NCMDLCA, Dr. Rafiu Oladipo said that they had been able to talk with the management of the company on the problems agents do face while doing their legitimate business in the terminal.

Oladipo observed that the Ports & Cargo management equally on their part, told them the experience they do have with agents saying that they were able to agree on one thing which is that there was need for partnership and cooperation between them adding “everything we have put across to them has been resolved on the table.”

Asked to name one of the operational challenges discussed at the meeting, he said, “The issue of TDO, when agents, after collecting the customs release and shipping release and paying the rent or the demurrage, whatever it is and TDOs are released and agents still find it difficult to bring in their vehicles. We have been able to trash that and we are going back to tell our members how best they can cooperate with the ports and do their jobs legitimately and be happy because Ports & Cargo are doing business in order to make money.

“The agents have to make money, the importers have to make money but if that has to happen, it has to be a symbiotic relationship and partnership and I am happy that with what we have gotten from them, they are ready at all times cooperate with us. Whenever there is an issue, for as long as we present those issues to them, they will look at it and resolve it without any problem.

“So, we have been able to talk to them and we have been able to say look, the problems agents are having, how best can we resolve it and they have told us that their doors are open, anytime we see any issue like that, we have the executives at the Tincan Island level, we have the Chairman of the chapter and his executives, any matter they cannot handle, they should refer it to the national, the National President is there, the National Secretary is there and we can handle those matters.

“But at the same time, we have been able to tell them that this group is the group that is recognized by the Shippers’ Council, this is the group that is recognized by the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, it is the group that is recognized by the Ministry of Transport, we don’t engage in any violence and they have seen us as law abiding citizens of this country. So, we have been able to dissociate ourselves from those groups that have been coming to cause trouble with them, we don’t engage in trouble. So, they have now seen us as representatives of a good body that believes in the rule of law.”

On his part, the National President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Dr. John Emeagi explained that the visit was aimed at interfacing with the management of Ports & Cargo terminal and to bring some issues on the table for them to discuss.

According to Emeagi, “One of the things is for them to know us, that we are the real Council of Managing Directors and we are the ones that are certified and accredited by CRFFN and again, to tell them some of the problems that are in the ports that our members are going through in the port and how they can assist our members to make sure that we eliminate some of these problems.

“The major one we mentioned to them and we had authentic answer from them is that most times, we have a TDO, when you have your TDO, it means that you have finished your job and you need your truck to load. You might have a truck and the truck is along their terminal, because of the congestion inside, trucks are not allowed to go in and the trucks could be there for two days and when your Debit Note expires, they ask you to pay for additional Debit Note.

“So, we have told them that it is very unfair because if my truck is already in and for the fact that there is congestion inside their terminal and our trucks cannot go in, it is very unfair to pay an additional Debit Note. So, they obliged us that and said if we have such cases, we should make them known for there shall be a waiver for that.”

Photo: A cross-section of the leadership of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) and the management of the Ports & Cargo terminal, Apapa during the courtesy visit on Tuesday.

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