…. decries delay in cargo clearance
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has raised the alarm over issues bothering on insecurity and influx of human contact at APM Terminals, Apapa Lagos.
National Coordinator, NAGAFF 100% Compliance Alh. Ibrahim Tanko who raised the concerns in a letter to the Managing Director, APM Terminal Apapa, also alleged delay in cargo clearance from the terminal, noting that it takes an average of four days to conduct physical examination and scanning of boxes.
While highlighting plethora of challenges at APM terminals operational activities, Tanko reiterated that “There is also issue of insecurity as APMT terminal is flooded by those who have no business being in the port.
“Too much delay in conducting physical examination also because it takes average of 4-5 days to conduct physical examination, and same is in scanning.
“We note with dismay the continued influx of all kinds of characters milling around your terminal; that vagrants now sleep there with all kinds of wares and illicit services going on.
“Reports of robbers trailing freight forwarders to their homes abound all because of non identification.
“There is also issue of examination bay being dusty, often affecting our members and other lawful users of the examination bay.
Tanko noted that several complaints have been made regarding the challenges all to no avail.
“We believe that the complaints never reached your table, pointing out that “All these challenges and other issues are grossly affecting us especially as it regards timely clearance of our consignments and trade facilitation.”
Meanwhile, the letter further accused the Stakeholders Manager of the Port concessionaire, simply identified as Mr. Kayode of militating against trade facilitation.
It noted that the stakeholders Manager has failed to interact with freight forwarders on the best way to promote trade and resolving challenges faced on cargo clearance from the terminal.
The letter reads, “We are sadly impelled to write this petition to your esteemed office against one Mr. Kayode, your Stakeholders manager who has turned himself a clog and or stumbling block to the smooth running and cordial relationship between our members and your management.
“Our office (100 percent compliance team) have been inundated with serious complaints and allegations against Mr. kayode who often than not, in the face of extenuating circumstances, unfair trade practices, impasse and other challenges in the port hold himself out to intervene or mediate but is inclined to surreptitiously and deliberately stopping us from reaching or approaching your management for intervention and or amicable resolution.
“Sir, it is beyond equivocation that the behaviour and activity of Mr. Kayode within the port will cause serious unrest and industrial action if nothing is expeditiously done to checkmate his incessant interference, /activities geared towards sabotaging our concerted efforts in ensuring good and cordial relationships between your management and our members.
“We have since been engaging and pacifying our aggrieved members as a result of Mr. Kayode,s encumbrances, parochial and self-serving interests.
“Sir, to ensure the smooth running of business in the port, we demand that Mr Kayode be called to order.
“Please note that any action taken by us in protecting our interests is caused by Mr. Kayode. Let him focus on his job and allow us to do ours.
“Let him desist forthwith from further interference with our businesses, allow us the freedom to interface with your management so we can make known or communicate our challenges and grievances without let or hindrances.
“It is noteworthy that since the exit of Mr. Odibe over two years ago, there has not been any form of interaction, meeting or correspondence with your management. And you have someone designated as Stakeholders Manager in the person of Mr, Kayode.
“Flowing from the above, we are constrained to implore you to take necessary disciplinary actions against the said Mr Kayode whose conducts and activities as chronicled above are at best conducts unbecoming of an employee of his status that is at all times expected to maintain high integrity, impartiality and probity in the discharge of his duties and service.”