Freight Forwarders Reject New Haulage Rates For Eastern Ports

Freight Forwarders Reject New Haulage Rates For Eastern Ports

Clearing agents under the Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria have rejected the new haulage rates for Eastern seaports approved by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council.

In a recent statement, the National President of APFFLON, Frank Ogunojemite, said that the newly approved rates do not reflect the current reality.

Recall that the NSC recently disclosed that it had approved reviewed haulage rates from Eastern ports to various destinations in the country.

The council said the rates approved were in consideration of cost moderation and cargo transport issues and were acceptable by all parties, including freight forwarders and truck owners.

However, Ogunojemite argued that the NSC’s claim that there were harmonious negotiations and that the rates were generally accepted by all parties was a farce, as some of those who appended their signatures were coerced to do so.

“The Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria, hereby, wishes to announce its rejection of the new haulage rates from Eastern seaports to various destinations across the country approved by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council.

“The negotiated and reviewed haulage rates, which have been approved by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, said to be in consideration of current cost moderation and cargo transport issues, do not reflect the current reality. The negotiations which they said were harmonious and that the rates agreed upon were acceptable by all parties, including freight forwarders and truck owners were a farce as some of those who appended their signatures were coerced to do so,” he stated.

According to Ogunojemite, the new haulage rates were outrageous and a clear reflection of gross insensitivity on the part of those who sat at the negotiation table, “not excluding the Nigerian Shippers’ Council as an agency of the Federal Government”.

“APFFLON,  hereby, wishes to express its dissatisfaction with the new rates and urge the NSC to quickly make a downward review of the rates, which do not reflect the present economic reality. We strongly believe that the NSC boss was misled into giving his approval to the rates,” he maintained.

He stated that the new rate would emasculate businesses, saying, “Therefore, we urge NSC to quickly carry out a downward review of the charges as they do not represent the interest of the generality of the people and neither reflects the current economic reality.”

 Ogunojemite warned the Chief Executive Officer of the NSC, Mr Pius Akuta, against leaving a bad legacy at the council.

He advised him to tread carefully in making certain decisions in order not to harm his reputation.

“We call on the CEO to go around and feel the pulse of the people before giving his approval to certain proposals.  We, hereby, state that the new haulage rates are unrealistic, as some of them have an additional 140 per cent increase when compared with the old rates,” Ogunojemite remarked.

He urged the Federal Government to always implement policies with a human face, especially at a time when people were struggling to feed themselves.

“The biting economic situation must be considered in whatever decision they are taking. People are struggling to feed; there is hardly a family that can boast of affording three square meals a day,” he noted.

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