Following claims by the Seaport Terminal Operators of Nigeria (STOAN) that all terminals complied to the Federal Government’s directive to suspend storage charges during the recent lockdown, freight forwarders have accused STOAN of misleading the public.
The President of STOAN, Princess Vicky Haastrup last week, blamed clearing agents for not taking advantage of the storage free period granted by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), however, a frieght forwarding group known as Association Concerned Freight Forwarders and Logistics (ACFFL) said STOAN was wrong to make such assertion.
Speaking with MMS Plus yesterday, the Secretary General of ACFFL, Mr. Johnny Ubaka said, “If you say freight forwarders have not been coming forward to put up claims on the demurrages it is wrong. I can also tell you that nobody is taking advantage of the waiver to clear his or her consignment in the ports”
“The waiver clearly stated from 30th of March to April 27th although Nigerian Shippers’ Council is pressing for another 14days. So, this is the period we are campaigning for because it was the period of lockdown and nobody put up claim for waiver before the lockdown”
According to him, APMT actually granted the waivers for some weeks but on April 28th, 2020, when some freight agents went for their Terminal Delivery Orders (TDOs), they realized that APMT re-introduced the earlier waivers.
“APMT gave 21days waiver but they have reversed it 100%. They didn’t really give it. What they did was to rate it back and that was what prompted our warning strike on Thursday last week, but before Monday they reversed it back again” he said.