APMT ACCUSSED OF WORKING AGAINST TRADE FACILITATION NIGERIA

It was serious confrontation between some freight forwarding groups, and the management of APM Terminal as they were accussed of masterminding delays in the process of cargo clearance at Apapa port.

By Ambrose Obioma Okehi
(News Emperor)

Accordong to the reactions of the protesting freight Forwarders who took over the gate leading the Apapa Port, the groups arrived at a conclusion that the continuous abdication of responsibilities by the management of AP Mollar, concessionaires at the Apapa Port Complex , Apapa, Lagos is the reason for the various delays and congesstions at Apapa at the moment.

They equally accussed the terminal of being a wheel in the clog of progress of achieving smooth clearance of goods at Apapa Port.

The groups as well alleged that the attitude of APMT is responsible for the pennerial traffic congesstion at Lagos ports by the attempt to hinder the Federal Government’s 24 hours cargo and 48 hours cargo clearance policy going on at the nation’s seaports.

The freight Forwarders are also saying that the actions of APMT is not only hindering smooth progression of cargo clearance but has put a stud in the wheel of trade facilitation and has equally attracted the anger of freight Forwarding groups in the Maritime Industry.

The 100% Compliance Team of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), in collaboration of other Sister Associations in the Industry, on Friday staged a protest against the flagrant abuse and negligence of duties of the staff of AP Moller Terminal (APMT) in Apapa Port.
However, the protest was cut short as a result of timely intervention of some Top notchers of the Industry who agreed to meet with the Compliance Team leaders to resolve the issues later Friday.

Addressing some journalists on their grievances recently, the National Coordinator of 100% Compliance Team of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim accused the Terminal of collecting money from them(freight  forwarders) for the examination of their containers without positioning them for examination.for several weeks while demurrage keeps accumulating..

Alhaji Tanko  also accused them of arbitrary increase in their charges on cargoes, which according  to him, they  have been complaining about but to no avail., as well as transfer of containers from the original designated port of berth as requested by the Importer to a bonded terminal in another port without informing the importer, while the importer is made to bear the transfer cost.

”APM Terminal transfers the importer’s container to another bonded Terminal  without informing the Importer and collecting money. The bonded Terminal which the container is transferred to will collect another money from the Freight Forwarder.

”We pay the APM Terminal for the positioning of containers for examination but they never position them for close to two weeks ,  and we are still paying. When they don’t have capacity to operate as terminal operators. I don’t think it is necessary for them to charge us, collect our money and fail to render services to us. They dont position up to 100 containers in a day”, he said.
” We have complained about this and other issues many times but to no avail and that is why we  decided to embark on this protest, but calls started coming from APM Terminal, from Customs saying they will call for a meeting by 3pm today. They told us to hold on till after that meeting. If those issues were not resolved during the meeting, we are going to continue with the protest on Tuesday..

”They alleged that we, the freight forwarders, don’t allow our containers to be examined. I want this examination to be done by every freight forwarder and I want APM Terminal to be giving us the list of containers for record purposes.

”We are not a 100% Compliance Team by mere name, we want everybody to comply. This is the beginning. We started with APM Terminal , we are extending it to the Shipping Companies too, but before then, we will have a meeting with all the government agencies, like SON, NAFDAC, NDLEA  and others.
”Why I want to have meetings with them is because they have been signing examination forms which is usually done after examination.  Why are they accusing our people that they are avoiding examination of their containers? We want to know whether they are signing the forms for signing sake or do they witness the examination before they sign? Most of the containers they were saying non examination, we have been seeing the examination forms being signed”, Tanko said.

The Coordinator of the 100% Compliance Team however, assured of his group’s commitment and unwavering stand towards addressing the problems as it affects their business , stressing that these charges give rise to high cost of goods in the market facing his members  at various terminals

The Vice President of NAGAFF Western Zone also pointed out that Terminal Operators now treat freight forwarders like slaves in Nigeria and vowed to sue any of the Bonded Terminal Operators who  operate without requisite cargo handling equipment and within a conducive environment.
ALHAJI Tanko however, announced that plans have been concluded to engage maritime Lawyers on behalf of the freight forwarders to prosecute erring operators in the industry.

Commenting on the issu too, the Chief of Staff to the National Coordinator, Mr. Bert Okeke accused the Terminal operators of being a cog in the wheel of progress in trade facilitation.adding that they(Terminal Operators) are the ones to bear the brunt.
Adding his voice, the Secretary of Compliance Team, Mr. Chukwuemeka Iwegbuna described the attitude of collecting money by the APMT without doing the job as fraudulent, Saying, ”You pay them for terminal charges for your cargo, they will take your money. Then their duty is to position your container for examination because until you pay, you cannot book for examination, that is the procedure.
”When you pay, you will be given two or three days for your container to be positioned, and that enables you to schedule your duty., but one week will expire, two weeks, three weeks, the container has not been positioned. That’s the money is counting, demurrage will still be counting and the importer has paid you, and when this happens, and you ask for more money, how do you explain that? They will look at you as thief and that’s why our members are being called names
”They will collect your money for the3 transfer o;f container, they will not do the transfer. They trfy to put your job on line while you are having issues with your client.. We have endured enough and we have to say no to all these.
Speaking also, the Technical  Officer, !00% Compliance Team of NAGAFF,  Chief Raphel Nwoye expressed hope that APMT will come to terms with freight forwarders,  ”otherwise we will assemble every arsenal to fight this course”…
Meanwhile,in a scheduled meeting between APMT and the freight forwarders, both parties agreed on :-
1.  increased number of containers for positioning:from 100 to 180 per day including weekends.
2.  Stopping of extra charges for missed positionings  due to their own negligence

  1. Refund of excess charges with proof of payment.
  2. A written undertaking of the above  will be made on Tuesday
    .
    The 100% Compliance Team of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), in collaboration of other Sister Associations in the Industry, on Friday staged a protest against the flagrant abuse and negligence of duties of the staff of AP Moller Terminal (APMT) in Apapa Port.
    However, the protest was cut short as a result of timely intervention of some Top nouchers of the Industry who agreed to meet with the Compliance Team leaders to resolve the issues later Friday.
    Addressing some journalists on their grievances, the National Coordinator of 100% Compliance Team of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim accused the Terminal of collecting money from them(freight  forwarders) for the examination of their containers without positioning them for examination.for several weeks while demurrage keeps accumulating..
    Alhaji Tanko  also accused them of arbitrary increase in their charges on cargoes, which according  to him, they  have been complaining about but to no avail., as well as transfer of containers from the original designated port of berth as requested by the Importer to a bonded terminal in another port without informing the importer, while the importer is made to bear the transfer cost.
    ”APM Terminal transfers the importer’s container to another bonded Terminal  without informing the Importer and collecting money. The bonded Terminal which the container is transferred to will collect another money from the Freight Forwarder.
    ”We pay the APM Terminal for the positioning of containers for examination but they never position them for close to two weeks ,  and we are still paying. When they don’t have capacity to operate as terminal operators. I don’t think it is necessary for them to charge us, collect our money and fail to render services to us. They don’t position up to 100 containers in a day”, he said.
    ” We have complained about this and other issues many times but to no avail and that is why we  decided to embark on this protest, but calls started coming from APM Terminal, from Customs saying they will call for a meeting by 3pm today. They told us to hold on till after that meeting. If those issues were not resolved during the meeting, we are going to continue with the protest on Tuesday..
    ”They alleged that we, the freight forwarders, don’t allow our containers to be examined. I want this examination to be done by every freight forwarder and I want APM Terminal to be giving us the list of containers for record purposes.
    ”We are not a 100% Compliance Team by mere name, we want everybody to comply. This is the beginning. We started with APM Terminal , we are extending it to the Shipping Companies too, but before then, we will have a meeting with all the government agencies, like SON, NAFDAC, NDLEA  and others.
    ”Why I want to have meetings with them is because they have been signing examination forms which is usually done after examination.  Why are they accusing our people that they are avoiding examination of their containers? We want to know whether they are signing the forms for signing sake or do they witness the examination before they sign? Most of the containers they were saying non examination, we have been seeing the examination forms being signed”, he opined
    The Compliance Team Coordinator however assured of his unwavering commitment towards addressing the problems as it affects their business , stressing that these charges give rise to high cost of goods in the market facing his members  at various terminals
    Alhaji Tanko who is also the Vice President , NAGAFF Western Zone, pointed out that Terminal Operators now treat freight forwarders like slaves in Nigeria and vowed to sue any of the Bonded Terminal Operators who  operate without requisite cargo handling equipment and within a conducive environment.
    He announced that plans have been concluded to engage maritime Lawyers on behalf of the freight forwarders to prosecute erring operators
    Speaking also, the Chief of Staff to the National Coordinator,, Mr. Bert Okeke accused the Terminal operators of being a cog in the wheel of progress in trade facilitation.adding that they(Terminal Operators) are the ones to bear the brunt.
    Adding his voice, the Secretary of Compliance Team, Mr. Chukwuemeka Iwegbuna described the attitude of collecting money by the APMT without doing the job as fraudulent, Saying, ”You pay them for terminal charges for your cargo, they will take your money. Then their duty is to position your container for examination because until you pay, you cannot book for examination, that is the procedure.
    ”When you pay, you will be given two or three days for your container to be positioned, and that enables you to schedule your duty., but one week will expire, two weeks, three weeks, the container has not been positioned. That’s the money is counting, demurrage will still be counting and the importer has paid you, and when this happens, and you ask for more money, how do you explain that? They will look at you as thief and that’s why our members are being called names
    ”They will collect your money for the3 transfer o;f container, they will not do the transfer. They trfy to put your job on line while you are having issues with your client.. We have endured enough and we have to say no to all these.
    Speaking also, the Technical  Officer, !00% Compliance Team of NAGAFF,  Chief Raphel Nwoye expressed hope that APMT will come to terms with freight forwarders,  ”otherwise we will assemble every arsenal to fight this course”…
    Meanwhile,  in a scheduled meeting between APMT and the freight forwarders, both parties agreed on :-
    1.  increased number of containers for positioning from 100 to 180 per day including weekends.
    2.  Stopping of extra charges for missed positioning  due to their own negligence
  3. Refund of excess charges with proof of payment.
  4. A written undertaking of the above  will be made on Tuesday.

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