The Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) has described the so-called warning strike carried out by a small group of freight forwarders last week as illegal and a threat to the lives of Nigerians relying on the supply chain for their essential supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The Council in a letter addressed to the Presidents of the five registered freight forwarding associations including the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agent (NCMDLCA), National Association of Freight Forwarders and Air Consolidators (NAFFAC) and the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN) has subsequently demanded a reversal of the strike action, which it noted could jeopardise government’s effort in containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the letter titled ‘Reversal of Strike Action at the Ports’ which was signed by the CRFFN Registrar, Sam Nwakohu, the Council said, “We have heard unofficially that a fraction of freight forwarders have embarked on strike action which we consider illegal and a serious threat to the life of teeming Nigerians relying on the supply chain for their essential supplies.
“We want to believe that you understand the urgency of the times we are in and the fact that the Federal Government classifies freight forwarding as essential service especially in the context of COVID-19. While appreciating the Federal Government for underscoring the importance of freight forwarding profession, we must not engage in anything that will jeopardise the efforts of government in containing the COVID-19 pandemic as well as sustain the lives of people.
“Any action obstructing the flow of the essential supply chain at this time may be tantamount to sabotage of a high order. The situation we are in is similar to wartime and those entrusted with ensuring the sustainable flow of life support essentials must be professional enough and ethically responsible in the discharge of their duties.
“If this developing trend is not nipped in the bud as quickly as possible, we fear it may attract serious consequences from the Federal Government and the association’s leadership may be held responsible.
“I, therefore, urge you to act fast to arrest this development by ensuring a reversal of the strike action while we work together to address whatever challenges are confronting freight forwarding at this time. Please bear in mind that the COVID-19 maritime task team comprising all stakeholders is fully on ground to address any complains affecting COVID -19 operations at the ports.”