After eleven days of service withdrawal from the port, could it be said that the purpose for such number of days of strike was worth it after all?
Worse still, there are divergent opinions by stakeholders over whether the strike was necessary in the first place or not as well as the grumbling underneath by the Lilliputians in the industry while the voices of the big-wigs becloud others.
Why some argue that terminal operators are inefficient and perpetrate high level of impunity in the course of carrying out their services, others believe they are the best thing that have ever happened to the industry.
In a tete-a-tete with some of these agents, they will tell you that even though they are not comfortable, they must speak the language of the leaders. It has so much become the norm of the associations that the members have no voice of their own.
In fact, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reached with the terminal operators was said not to be honoured. This means that the agents have to pay for demurrage for the number of days that the strike lasted.
It could be said that the strike eventually caused more harm than good to the nation’s economy and other end users.
The Nigeria’s economy may have lost about N45 Billion naira to the strike by customs licensed agents operating at the nation’s busiest seaport, Apapa.
In a similar development, as the Apapa port is full with beehive of activities so much that there is congestion; some other ports like PTML, KLT and even Tin Can are bleeding from lack of activity thereby telling on their revenue generation.
In a recent chat with a truck operator, it was countered that the new truck regulation in the port is a far cry from what it is supposed to be. Truck owners have to part with some amount of unofficial money before they can enter the port.
This has been so much part of the system that it sounds and looks normal to the people at the helm of affairs.
In another development, the roads have been fraught with trucks lining the sides thereby making it difficult for port users to access the port in carrying out their jobs.
The fact remains that the strike was a failure on the surface but not in the pockets of the purported obsessive agents who declared it. This remains to be proved beyond reasonable doubts.