By Innocent Orok
The Founder of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr Boniface Aniebonam has blasted Mr Klaus Laursen, Country Manager of APMT
for saying that Freight Forwarders are the cause of congestion in the Ports.
Mr Klaus Laursen has during his maiden visit to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) Executive Secretary/ CEO, Barr. Hassan Bello yesterday accused Freight Forwarders of not picking up their containers, this according to him is why there is Congestion in the Ports.
The NAGAFF founder while charting with selected Journalists in his office today said the Ports system has collapse and that nothing is working in the ports.
He said the system collapse has led to freight forwarders suffering and no end in sight.
He accused the APMT boss of not understanding the workings in the ports and that he should have studied the working of the Nigerian Maritime industry, pay courtesy visits to NAGAFF and ANLCA, before making such unguided statement.
Dr Aniebonam accused Terminal Operators and Shipping companies of frustrating stakeholders and that nobody is regulating them.
He however commended the NSC for all its efforts , but said they need to enforced their powers for defaulters to comply.
The APMT, Country Manager, Mr Klaus Laursen had during his visit to NSC, while responding to the worries by the Shippers Council boss on the Congestion in the Ports said “Congestion at the terminal is due to Freight Forwarders not coming forward to clear their containers. This he said has contributed in no small way to the back up of ships on Nigeria’s territorial waters.”
While on automation, Mr. Laursen said APMT plans to optimize haulage at its terminal by implementing an electronic platform for truck management.
He said discussions on this are ongoing with Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
He added that the terminal issues, Terminal Delivery Orders ( TDO) online payments, invoicing and a range of other services are also available online so that Freight Forwarders don’t need to be physically present at their terminal to make payments.
With regard to export cargo, Laursen said Exporters need to have all their documentations including Customs clearance before accessing the terminal.
He suggested that the Nigeria Railway Corporation advertise its services in order to increase patronage.
APMT is the biggest terminal in Nigeria having taken over the Apapa Container terminal during the ports concessions in Nigeria.