22 September 2013, Lagos – Freight forwarders were full of lamentations when the management team of the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, led by the Executive Secretary, Mr Hassan Bello, visited the Tin Can Island port to assess the situation following series of crises being suffered by importers at the seaport.
A large crowd made up of importers and their freight forwarders had stormed the seaport on learning about the visit to the troubled terminal owned by the Tin Can Island Container Terminal Limited to complain of the nightmare they have been going through at the port.
One of the agents and Publicity Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agent, ANLCA, Mr Emmanuel Onyeme, told the team that the agents had been going through hell as a result of arbitrary charges, extortion and delays while clearing their goods at the Lagos ports.
Onyeme said his association had given the management of TICT seven days ultimatum to reverse the issue of delivery order as a requirement for examination booking or face the wrath of the agents.
He accused the management of the terminal of introducing policies that were inimical to best international practices.
Bello, who expressed concern over what he described as poor condition under which the agents were exposed to while clearing their goods assured that his council was determined to ensure that all the issues affecting trade facilitation and necessary efficiency were addressed.
He told the agents that his council had already intervened on the problems being faced at the port by inviting some of the terminal operators and importers association for discussion on how to resolve the matter.
He disclosed that his council would continue to visit all the ports on regular basis to see things and ensure that the right atmosphere is created for goods delivery.
He insisted that importers or their agents should not be made to pay demurrage when it was not their fault that such charges were incurred.
Bello who said that the visit of his team was a follow-up to a similar visit by the Special Adviser to the President on Ports assured the agents that everything would be done to resolve the issues.
The NSC boss also cautioned importers and freight forwarders against making incorrect declaration, adding that such practices would lead to delays when clearing their goods.
Terminal Manager of TICT, Mr Richards Akingbolu, had while denying some of the allegations leveled against his company claimed that part of the problems was the issue of overtime containers at the port.
– This Day