May 28, 2024

Demurrage Waiver: Aggrieved Freight Forwarders’ Action Was Unauthorized, Unnecessary, Didn’t Follow Due Process -Dr Tanko

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Demurrage Waiver: Aggrieved Freight Forwarders’ Action Was Unauthorized, Unnecessary, Didn’t Follow Due Process -Dr Tanko

…writes STOAN for waiver of charges accrued due to two day NLC strike

By Jerry Aguigbo

The Coordinator 100 percent Compliance Team, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Nagaff Dr Ibrahim Tanko said the action of the Freight Forwarders who on Wednesday morning shut the gates to the APM Terminal Apapa was unnecessary, unauthorized and did not follow due process.

Recall that after the suspension of NLC two day strike action on Wednesday 15 November, 2023, Freight Forwarders became apprehensive that Charges accrued during the two day strike action may not be waived by terminal Operators contrary to agreement reached between Shipping and Terminal Operators of Nigeria, STOAN and Freight Forwarders’ Associations as brokered by the Nigerian Shippers’Council. This however led to a few aggrieved persons taking a unilateral action to put the APM Terminal under lock and key without due consultations.

This action, TodayNews gathered, drew the anger of the Coordinator 100 percent Compliance Team Nagaff, Dr Ibrahim Tanko who subsequently got the leader arrested and detained. Although as at the time of this report, he has been released on bail.

Narrating the incident, Tanko said that on Wednesday, he received calls from APM Terminal, that his boys have blocked their gate, ” before I could react, the Police called, the DSS and STOAN. So I hurried up and when I got there some of the boys had ran away, so I unchained the gate and also spoke with the Port Police.

Continuing, Tanko said, ” there are procedures for this, they should have waited to see if the Terminal Operators will charge or not and even at that, there are laid down procedures to follow before resorting to this. That was why we arrested the boy, to correct the bad impression,” Tanko said.

Asked if there are indications that the Shipping and Terminal Operators are charging demurrage for the two days of strike, Tanko said that “as of Wednesday, there was no confirmation but today Thursday, we have confirmed that they are charging and we have started the process by notifying them in writing for compliance with what was agreed during the last negotiation at NSC. We noticed that Agents are gathering at TICT, I have told them to hold on, it’s the same in all the terminals, except that the Shipping Companies have all complied,” he stated.

However, the Nagaff 100 percent Compliance Team have in a letter titled: “Re: waiver Of Charges As A Result Of The The NLC/ TUC Nationwide Strike Action”, requested STOAN to waive charges accrued over the two day nationwide strike, between the 14 and 15 November, 2023. According to the letter, this is in line with the principle of not charging for services not rendered as agreed between STOAN, headed by Mrs Vicky Haastrup and the Freight Forwarding Associations, in a meeting brokered by the Nigerian Shippers’Council, presided over by the former Executive Secretary, Bar. Emmanuel Jime, on October, 21 2023.

Dr Tanko appealed to the Terminal Operators to reverse the system and make refunds to those who have already made payment for the two days of strike from now till the following week, this according to him, will determine the next line of action.

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