*As practitioners remains adamant
Lagos — The Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria, CRFFN, has waded into the strike being proposed by the various freight forwarding groups, a development that may worsen a near crisis situation at the nation’s ports.
In a letter to the various freight forwarding groups, the Registrar of the Council Barrister, Sam Nwakohu said that that a fraction of freight forwarders has embarked on strike action an action it consider illegal and a serious threat to the life of teeming Nigerians relying on the supply chain for their essential supplies.
He warned that any obstruction in the flow of the essential supply chain at this time may tantamount to sabotage of a high order adding that if the developing trend was not nipped in the bud as quickly as possible, it may attract serious consequences from the federal government and the Associations’ leadership may be held responsible.
In the letter titled: ‘Reversal of strike action at the ports’ Nwakohu appealed to shelve the planned and strike and embrace dialogue.
Part of the letter reads: “We have heard unofficially that a fraction of freight forwarders has embarked on strike action which we consider illegal and a serious threat to the life of teeming Nigerians relying on the supply chain for their essential supplies.
“We want to believe that you understand the urgency of the times we are in and the fact that the Federal government classifies freight forwarding as essential service especially in the context of COVID -19. While appreciating the Federal government for underscoring the importance of freight forwarding profession, we must not engage in anything that will jeopardize the efforts of government in containing the covid-19 pandemic as well as sustain the lives of people.
“Any action obstructing the flow of the essential supply chain at this time may tantamount to sabotage of a high order. The situation we are in is similar to a war time and those entrusted with ensuring the sustainable flow of life support essentials must be professional enough and ethically responsible in the discharge of their duties.
“If this developing trend is not nipped in the bud as quickly as possible, we fear it may attract serious consequences from the federal government and the Associations’ leadership may be held responsible.
“I therefore, urge you to act fast to arrest this development by ensuring a reversal of the strike action while we work together to address whatever challenges confronting freight forwarding at this time. Please bear in mind that the COVID-19 Maritime task team (comprising all stakeholders) is fully on ground to address any complains affecting COVID -19 operations at the ports.
Reacting to the development, the Vice President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, Mr. Kayode Farinto disclosed that his group has replied the Council’s letter adding that the Council has failed to address the issue that led to the cause of the planned strike.
“If anybody is sabotaging the economy, it is the terminal operators that have refused to obey a directive of the Federal government.”