The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has criticized the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) for its approach towards the issue of shipping line agency charges collected by the Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN).
NAGAFF described ANLCA’s recent ultimatum to withdraw its services from the ports if the demand of this charge is not stopped as wrong.
The ANLCA President, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, had on Monday issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Shippers’ Association of Nigeria to stop collection of shipping line agency charges, which he described as illegal, or face industrial action.
Shittu had disclosed that his association is not alone in the call for the withdrawal of the shipping line agency charge when he read from a letter jointly signed by his association, NAGAFF and the Association of Registered Freight Forwarders (AREFF) on the platform of Joint Freight Forwarding Association Committee to the Shippers’ Association of Nigeria of the freight forwarding associations’ refusal to continue paying the charges.
But the NAGAFF president, Chief Eugene Nweke, during an exclusive chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, said that Shittu jumped the gun when he issued the ultimatum on behalf of his association.
Nweke, while not denying that his association was a signatory to the letter, said that the ANLCA boss should have presented the issue to the Maritime Advocacy Action Group (MAAG) to be discussed extensively and a decision taken collectively.
He said: “If as a leader he is, issues generated from the chapters gets to him, the best he could do is to go back to MAAG that have a Complaint and Monitoring unit and a Compliance and Enforcement unit where he directs such letter appropriately to and they will call the attention of the Central Working Committee of MAAG where all of us takes decision on such issues and we give directive. And if the directive is not obeyed we will take action. That is the spirit of oneness, the spirit of purpose. We want to move away from that era when one person will just wake up and make certain pronouncements. He (Shittu) shouldn’t have said that all.”
“You don’t wake up and make pronouncements and say that NAGAFF is involved; that AREFF is involved. That is not how to involve somebody. You don’t be my spokesman when it bothers on issue of withdrawal of service. No association in this century can single handedly close the ports. It must be a collective thing,” Nweke stated.
National President of AREFF, Dr. Frank Ukor, while not piqued by ANLCA issuing an ultimatum for the purpose of putting a stop to shipping companies’ collection of what he described, as arbitrary charges, said that it would have been a tidier arrangement if the ultimatum was issued on the platform to portray collectiveness.
“ANLCA could give that ultimatum but other associations will not honour it and when they go ahead with their activities it will make nonsense of the motive of the ultimatum,” Ukor stated.
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