Photo > Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko (middle) flanked by his Chief Of Staff, Bert Okeke (L) and Fwdr. Chukwuemeka Iwegbuna (R)
by Ruth Sunday
Freight Forwarders in Nigeria have issued a two-week strike notice to multinational shipping lines operating in the country over complaints on extortion and other forms of imposition of illegal charges on their clients, the importers and transporters.
The group in a letter dated October 21, 2021, entitled: Notification to all shipping companies operating in Nigeria on the withdrawal of our services” and signed on behalf of the freighters by the National Coordinator, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) 100% Compliance Team, Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim,gave the shipping Companies up to November 10, 2021 to address all the issues or face a strike action.
They alleged that their clients lose over N10million daily on issues emanating from consistent network failures of the shipping firms, raising of questionable invoices, sending of Terminal Delivery Orders TDO as well as imposing charges on illegal transfer of containers against the wish, consent or approval of the consignee, which they described as a dubious move aimed at extorting money from them, to which they lose of N50million, bringing to a total of over N60million on a daily basis.
Also, the deliberate and fraudulent depletion of container deposit refunds, issuance of detention invoices, undue debiting of their clients, causing disaffection between them and their clients and transporters due to these impositions and unnecessary extortion of importers to the tune of over N150,000 before dropping empty containers; which they debit from the container deposit refunds.
The freight forwarders warned that unless these issues were resolved before November 10, 2021, they would be left with the only option of withdrawal of their services at the port, a development stakeholders have said would worsen the level of congestion currently experienced at most of these seaports terminals.
The letter reads:We write to notify all the shipping lines operating in Nigeria of our intention to withdraw our services.
This is sequel to the multitude of complaints on extortion via:
(1) Depletion of container deposit refunds.
(2) Detention invoice.
(3) Undue debiting of our clients.
(4) Bringing us into disputes with our transporters/ clients.
(5) Unnecessary extortion of our importers up to #150,000 before dropping empty containers; then they pass it back to us before giving us our container cards.
(6) Network issue: raising invoice, sending TDO etc to which we are losing #10 million per day.
(7) Deceitful demand of opening of importers account/ extortion before releasing invoice.
(8)Transfer of containers against the wish, consent nor approval of the consignee. This is a dubious move aimed at extorting money from us, and we are losing over #50million per day.
(10) As a result of your negligence or lack of capacity, you foister on us undue equipment detention charges ranging from #200,000 per 1×40ft and #100,000 ×1×20ft multiplied by over 1000 containers per day.
(11) Our transporters should be paid by way of compensation for using their trucks as a holding bay for days and weeks.
(12)Further more, we are no longer going to be induced no coerced into arresting our transporters over misunderstandings bordering on missing containers etc.
Against this background, want to notify that from the 25/10/2021 through 10/11/2021, if these issues raised above were not properly addressed; we will withdraw our services.
”It has come to our knowledge, that these shipping lines are not interested in the welfare of freight forwarders nor Nigerians, hence non of them have investment in Nigeria. All of them are on rent.
Take notice: Do not open for operation after 10/11/2021.
To be fore warned is to be fore armed.