The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF has given the management of the Tincan Island Container Terminal, TICT 48 hours to recall its sacked and suspended staff or risk losing its customers. This is even as the association accused the TICT management of deliberately delaying cargo delivery so as to defraud importers and their agents.
The Chairman of NAGAFF, KLT chapter, Engr. Emmanuel Umeadi who issued the ultimatum to the company in a telephone chat with our correspondent on Saturday disclosed that the Managing Director of TICT, Mr. Rocher Etienne, approved the sack and suspension of “capable hands”, leaving the company with very few staff who now struggle to meet up with a huge work load.
Umeadi observed that as at 3pm on Saturday, no freight forwarder had collected Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) from the terminal alleging that the sack and suspension of TICT staff by the management was done under questionable circumstances as according to him, it was targeted at defrauding importers and their agents through unnecessary accumulation of demurrage.
The NAGAFF Chairman who complained that his boys were at the terminal as early as 9am on Saturday and were yet to collect a single TDO as at 3pm same day, faulted the action of the TICT management describing the suspension of its “capable hands” as insensitive and deliberate attempt to defraud importers of their hard earned money through additional demurrage.
According to him, “We are compelling the management of TICT to as a matter of urgency, recall the suspended workers or risk losing their customers. We shall print fliers and embark on serious de-marketing of TICT, freight forwarders will have no choice but to advise their importers to boycott the terminal to avoid losing their investments. We are giving them 48 hours to recall suspended workers.
“Furthermore, we are demanding the refund of all demurrage paid for this deliberate delay. TICT must refund the money because importers cannot lose their money because of poor decision taken by the management.
“We are going to de-market TICT by redirecting our clients to other terminals. Jobs are piling up because efficient and experienced hands are on suspension. Freight forwarders are being deliberately punished by TICT.”
“Besides, TICT is also overating shipments in their custody and agents whose consignments were overrated that took delivery on time should be called for their refund, they should be given back their balance without further delay.”
Meanwhile, investigation by Primetime Reporters revealed that a good number of TICT staff had been sacked and others suspended by the management because of their objection to the Managing Director’s instruction directing them to commence the collection of container deposits for Maersk line, a directive considered to be inappropriate.
This, according to our investigation, was one of the reasons a good number of TICT staff considered as “best hands” were recently relieved of their jobs.
Freight Forwarders who turned out in their numbers at the terminal on Saturday to take delivery of their job but met the ugly situation on ground, called on the Managing Director, Mr. Rocher Etienne and the Human Resource Manager, Mr. Rapheal Ugbe, to immediately recall the suspended staff or risk losing their customers as they can no longer tolerate their excesses.
One of them who spoke under the condition of anonymity, described the action of the MD as distasteful even as he contended that no sane manager of any company can suspend his staff when there were no sufficient number of workers to attend to customers, knowing full well the consequences of such decision.
Attempts by our correspondent to speak with the MD of TICT hit the wall as calls and text messages put across to his phone were neither answered nor retuned as at the time of filling this report.
Photo: Engr. Emmanuel Umeadi, Chairman, KLT chapter, NAGAFF.
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