Planned Protest: Tanko flays APMT over alleged extortion

…..As NAGAFF Compliance Prospon Protest to avoid blackmail

The National Coordinator of the National Association of Government Approved Frieght Forwarders (NAGAFF) Compliance team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko has alleged that AP Moller Terminal (APMT) Apapa has been engaging in profiteering and mindless extortion of freight forwarders and Shippers using their facility.

Still in the release in which a copy was giving to ‘Lagos Trace News Magazine’, in Apapa, Lagos shortly after suspending a protest in which the group has concluded plans to embark on. Tanko alleged that the terminal operator paid some hoodlums to hijack what could have been a peaceful protest. Stated that “It was hijacked so as to blackmail the Compliance Team”.

According to the Compliance coordinator who is seriously fighting against corruption in Nigerian Ports, in his release “several representations have been made to draw their attention to the deplorable condition of their examination bay. It’s usually muddy and flooded each time it’s rained, the environment becomes impossible to conduct an examination of containers. The consignee incurring immense damages of the products, accumulated demurrage of both terminal and shipping charges when examination is not conducted”.

Alhaji Tanko further lamented bitterly about the inhuman treatment, poor services at AP Moller Terminal, Apapa. Adding that unfair profiteering activities of this same terminal operator. He said “today we vowed to withdraw our services due to what we described as the economic sabotage by the nation’s leading terminal operator”.

While narrating various move for dialogue and solutions, he said “a letter addressed to the Area Comptroller of the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed, to intervain in the shabby examination bay of the APMT which defiled solution from the terminal operator despite repeated appeals.

“We have already mobilized our members who are already poised to protest the unprofessional activities going on at the terminal. But I got an intelligence report that the APMT management has gone ahead of us to pay hoodlums to hijack the protest.”

“They did this in order to blackmail the leadership of the Compliance team and rubbish the noble objectives of our action. We are still coming back. The APMT should not think this is the end of the matter neither should they think they can blackmail us to submission as we are determined to resolve and make the terminal operator do the needful”.

“We write to notify you of our resolve, after repeated attempts to make the APMT (Apapa live up to their responsibilities as a concessionaire”.

“It’s a pity that freight forwarders and government agencies dread going there for examinations. The health hazard is more pronounced in the dry season. The dust haze is better imagined than experienced. To make matters worse, their scanning operations are nothing to write home about.”

“It takes an average of five working days to scan a container, woe betides you if it is found suspect. This might take another week and additional payment, both terminal and shipping charges of the container to be positioned for examination. we consider their actions to freight forwarders as an act of wickedness”.

“We believe these infractions are carefully contrived to maximize profits at the expense of Nigerian citizens and port users. If not pure profiteering, what does it take a big company like APMT to fix their examination bay to world standard?”

“To ease our scanning headaches, we had proposed allowing freight forwarders to use their trucks in ferrying their containers to the machine. In the event of failing the scanning scrutiny, the truck goes straight to the examination platform for physical examination as originally planned.”

“One wonders why the APMT abandoned the use of that platform since the return of scanning operations. In the light of the above, and after numerous representations, we are left with no other option than to withdraw our services and embark on a total shutdown of the APM terminal which was to take place on until the conditions of work in the terminal are improved. It’s in the best interest of our economy and the well-being of our teeming members.”

As at the time of gathering this report all efforts made to contact the public relation office, of APMT Bola Akinola (PHD) was abortive, as We hoping to get there side story in next edition.

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