Home News COFFAMAT Issue 48hrs Ultimatum to Presidential Task Force to vacate Port Access roads.

COFFAMAT Issue 48hrs Ultimatum to Presidential Task Force to vacate Port Access roads.

by timenews
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Committee of freight forwarders and Maritime Truck Owners(COFFAMAT),  has issued a 48hr Ultimatum to Presidential Task Force to vacate  port access roads

It would be recalled that the federal government, late last year,  2019 set up a Presidential Task Force,  which the Vice President,  Yemi Osibanjo was the chairman to ensure free flow of traffic on port access roads as well remove all trucks from packing on bridges.
The National Coordinator of NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team,  Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko who gave the ultimatum in a Press Conference on behalf of the Committee members, at the Compliance Team Secretariat in Lagos Tuesday said the Presidential Task Team on Traffic control has failed in their duties hence up till today ,  traffic Congestion on Apapa and port Access road had witnessed horrible dimension.
Alhaji Tanko accused them of extorting money from truckers between N150, 000 to N180, 000 before they could access the ports and said, “enough is enough. We can no longer accept it. We own the cargo while the transporters own the truck. I see reason why somebody will come and extort money from us.”
According to him,  “We have written letters to the Governor of Lagos State. We have written to the Commissioner of Police,  Lagos State,  we have also written to the Task Team.
The Compliance team National Coordinator therefore warned that henceforth shipping companies were to provide holding bays for their empty containers as no compliance would no longer be acceptable to them.
“We are giving them 48hrs from today to leave the roads. We don’t want to see anybody or the presidential Task Force team controlling our trucks for us. We are going to handle it by ourselves. By right,  their tenure expired last 2 months ago, and I don’t know they are still there. We have not been seeing  the Vice President who is the chairman of the Task Force,and we have been complaining about this. The only person we have been seeing is the former Lagos State Commissioner for Works,  Okpeifa and Police officers. We have given them 48hours to go out from the road. We are no longer comfortable with their activities,” he explained.
Alhaji Tanko threatened that they would be forced to withdraw their services if the task Task force  fail to vacate the roads, adding, “things cannot continue this way.”
On why the Compliance Team became part of  COFFAMAT considering the Team’s mandate, Tanko made it clear that the mission of COFFAMAT was inline with one of the 10-point agenda of the Compliance team, which was to expose all corrupt practices in the port.
Speaking also,  the Chairman,  Association of Maritime Truck Owners, (AMATO) Chief Remi Ogungbemi  who attributed  the rising cost of goods in the market to nefarious activities of the task force ,considering the cost of importation,  clearing the goods from the port, conveyance of the goods to the owners’ warehouse
Chief Ogungbemi further said that the body was  working with the economic regulator of the Port,  Nigerian Shippers’ Council to ensure the reduction in the cost of doing business in the port to its barest minimum.
“We have no other Country we can call our own. It has come to the moment of truth and we must say the truth. We that wear the shoes know where pinches us. I know Government have been trying their best to see how the problem could be solved by setting up the presidential task team,  but I must say that its  is unfortunate that the agencies in charge of this Task Team see it as an opportunity to enrich themselves and anything that had a beginning must have an end.
“So,  we are using this forum to appeal to the authority,  right from the Presidency,  especially our able Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu,  that please,  enough is enough. We have suffered untold hardship in the hands of the Presidential Task Force,  enough is enough. And not only that,  we have also woken up from our slumbering slumber. We own our trucks and agents also own the goods that are in the container. We have sensitized ourselves and we want to start controlling our trucks by ourselves.
“And most importantly,  we are all aware of the rising cost of commodities in our markets. All these extortion,  I must say must have formed part if the contributory factor to the rising cost of goods in our markets,  because when you import your goods,  you must spread the cost of clearing of that goods on the goods you are importing.
“We are here working to ensure that to work with our government especially the economic regulator of the
port,  which happens to be the Nigerian Shippers’ Council to see how the cost of doing business in the port can be reduced to the barest minimum especially port in Nigeria,  we are competing with other ports in the neighboring Africa.
” We are appealing that henceforth,  we want to start controlling our trucks by ourselves”,  he said.
COFFAMAT , a new body comprising of members of various associations in the Maritime Industry such as AMATO. NCMDLCA, ANLCA, AREFFN, NAGAFF 100% Compliance Team etc was formed to fight a common course in the Industry.
Cross section of members of COFFAMAT
Photo 1: L-R = Barth Okeke,Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, Chief Remi Ogun

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