Shut Down of APM Terminal Illegal
– Dr Tanko
By Ebenezer William
The Coordinator 100 percent Compliance Team, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, Nagaff Dr Ibrahim Tanko has condemned and declared unauthorized the closure of APM Terminal at Apapa by Freight Forwarders on Wednesday morning saying that the strikers did not follow due process.
Recall that after the suspension of NLC two day strike action on Wednesday 15 November 2023, Freight Forwarders became apprehensive that Charges accrued during the two-day strike action may not be waived by terminal Operators contrary to the agreement reached between Shipping and Terminal Operators of Nigeria, STOAN and Freight Forwarders’ Associations as brokered by the Nigerian Shippers’Council. This however led to a few aggrieved persons taking a unilateral action to put the APM Terminal under lock and key without due consultations.
This action, Maritime Connect gathered, drew the anger of the Coordinator 100 per cent Compliance Team Nagaff, Dr Ibrahim Tanko who subsequently got the leader arrested and detained. However, as of the time of this report, he has been released on bail.
Narrating the incident, Tanko said that on Wednesday, he received calls from APM Terminal, that his boys had blocked their gate, ” before I could react, the Police called, the DSS and STOAN. So I hurried up and when I got there some of the boys had run away, so I unchained the gate and also spoke with the Port Police.
Continuing, Tanko said, ” There are procedures for this, they should have waited to see if the Terminal Operators will charge or not and even at that, there are laid down procedures to follow before resorting to this. That was why we arrested the boy, to correct the bad impression,” Tanko said.
Asked if there are indications that the Shipping and Terminal Operators are charging demurrage for the two days of strike, Tanko said that “as of Wednesday, there was no confirmation but today Thursday, we have confirmed that they are charging and we have started the process by notifying them in writing for compliance with what was agreed during the last negotiation at NSC. We noticed that Agents are gathering at TICT, I have told them to hold on, it’s the same in all the terminals, except that the Shipping Companies have all complied,” he stated.
However, the Nagaff 100 percent Compliance Team in a letter titled: “Re: waiver Of Charges As A Result Of The The NLC/ TUC Nationwide Strike Action”, requested STOAN to waive charges accrued over the two-day nationwide strike, between the 14 and 15 November 2023. According to the letter, this is in line with the principle of not charging for services not rendered as agreed between STOAN, headed by Mrs Vicky Haastrup and the Freight Forwarding Associations, in a meeting brokered by the Nigerian Shippers’Council, presided over by the former Executive Secretary, Bar. Emmanuel Jime, on October 21 2023.
Dr Tanko requested the Terminal Operators to reverse the system and make refunds to those who have already made payment for the two days of strike from now till the following week. This according to him, will determine the next line of action.