Some members of the AREFFN protesting this morning.
Story by Dili Utomi.
ASSOCIATION PROTESTS CARGO DELAY AND EXTORTION AT TERMINALS.
The Kirikiri Lighter Terminal branch members of the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN) has protested what they term the undue delays in cargo clearance, illegal transfers of cargoes from one terminal to the other and the unlawful imposition of fees by the management of the Ports and Cargo Handling Services Limiter, a subsidiary of The SIFAX Group.
The protest took place in front of the Group’s Corporate Head Office as the Secretary of the branch of the Association Stephen Chukwuka accused the management of the Ports and Cargo Handling Services Limited of internationally electing not to do their duty of effectively facilitating the speedy transfer of Containers from their terminal because of selfish reasons. He said that the management of P&CHSL deliberately delay cargo clearance in other that the cargoes incur demurrage of thirteen thousand naira per container per day. Mr. Chukwuka also accused the management of moving their containers from one terminal to the other and making them to pay the costs. He went further also to accuse the management of extorting from them the sum of forty thousand naira for every container that leaves the P&CHSL terminal as he advised that they put an immediate stop to these sharp practices.
Muyiwa Akande, Head of Corporate Communication, SIFAX Group.
On the part of the SIFAX Group, the head of Corporate Communications, Muyiwa Akande said that the management has called in the protesters and had had a useful discussion with them and has also constituted a four man committee who went to the terminals to meet with those on ground and to resolve all the grievances raised and for all containers transferred out. Mr. Akande declared that the management of the SIFAX Group had a few months ago Constituted a kind of whistle blower policy that has resulted in the dismissal of staff members because the Group is a Customer oriented Group. He said that the Freight Forwarders are their customers and therefore the management can never do anything to hurt their customers .
Mr. Akande clarified that demurrage payment is legitimate, but that if there are cases of force majeure, as in cases of road construction which cause delay in movement, the customer is considered and not made to pay demurrage over the period of the delay.