By Innocent Orok
The last is yet to be heard about the feud between Nigerian Freight Forwarders and the APM ,Terminal, the terminal operator at the Apapa premier port over the allegation made by his Country Manager few weeks ago that Freight Forwarders are the cause of the Congestion in the ports as the don’t come forward for their consignments.
NAGAFF which was provoked by the APMT boss statement , according to its founder, Dr Boniface Aniebonam called it “Speaking from a point of Ignorance”
Barely a mouth after the inauguration of NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team Headquarters office in Lagos, the association has constituted another committee to beam its searchlight on the activities of APMT in Nigeria vis-a- vis its operations in other Countries. The NAGAFF Technical Committee is likely to assess the performance of other concessionaires in the Nigeria ports system.
The Committee which is headed by Dr Author Igwillo is given two months mandate to come up with its report for onward submission to the Ministry of Transportation and the Secretary to Government of the Federation.
National President of NAGAFF ,Chief Increase Uche while briefing newsmen at the inauguration on Thursday at the association headquarter in Lagos , reiterated that the committee would embark on re-evaluation and assessment of APM Terminals Apapa operations since inception and proceed to other terminal operators in Nigerian ports.
Uche recalled that APMT was concessioned as the biggest terminal in the premier Port of Apapa in 2006.adding that since then, they have been in operation, delivering services based on the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) signed during the concession agreement in 2006.
He explained that the exercise would extend to other terminal operators in Lagos but added that “NAGAFF high Command in her wisdom has decided to carry out a holistic re-evaluation and comprehensive assessment of the performance of APMT since its inception in Nigerian Ports.
“As the link that brings all the players together in the general supply chain, the freight forwarders have been dutifully carrying out their role as required particularly, in ensuring a seamless flow of ports operations, covering all the terminals including the APMT.
“Our experience in the course of discharging our professional duties vary from one terminal to another. From our informed knowledge the APMT has remained one of the terminals that has not achieved the purpose for which the government carried out the reform in the maritime industry. It is based on this fact and for numerous other reasons that this assignment is hereby bestowed on these selected members with the onerous task”
He called on them to carry out thorough investigation and research in ensuring unbiased reports about the terminal..
Also speaking at the inauguration, founder of the association, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam tasked the committee to be diligent in their fact finding mission adding that the move is to ascertain how policies have been impacted on economic growth and development.
Aniebonam accused the APMT, MD of making a statement that is uncalled for, when he has not hear from the freight forwarders and the difficulties they are passing through in accessing and taking their consignments from the ports.
“APMT cannot go to equity with dirty hands, they are not complying with Section 31 of the CEMA. We have to protect the investments of our clients to remain in business” the NAGAFF founder said.