The International Freight Forwarders Association (IFFA) has raised alarm over alleged intimidation of stakeholders and agents at the ports, saying that the ports are not for staff of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) or officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) alone.
The association also insisted that other stakeholders and agents must be accommodated and allowed to carry out their legitimate businesses in the port.
The national provost of IFFA, Jonathan Owoh, who said this in a chat with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos, also decried intimidation and a deliberate attempt by some government agencies to eject some stakeholders and clearing agents from the Tin Can Island Container Complex.
Recall that a few years ago, freight forwarders who have offices at that complex came back after the Christmas holiday to discover that a major part of the complex have been consumed by fire with promises by the NPA to assist in the repair of the damaged complex.
But reacting to this, the IFFA chieftain said that no help has come from anybody since then adding that the complex has been repaired through self-help by the occupants.
“All the renovations going on here are all self-effort and self-help, nobody has come to our aid, we have issues with NPA here in terms of our tenancy and we are still battling with it. But I think the MD is giving us hope that something will be done so we are still in court with them over the tenancy of this place. Some people are instigating them to eject us from this place we are still in court over that”
He urged the government to do the needful to ensure that freight forwarding and other stakeholders are allowed to operate from the complex.
“The government should try and do the needful because operators of the wharf, clearing agent and other stakeholders must be accommodated within the premises of the ports. So if you go to other countries it is like that. Agents must have offices and be around for efficient clearing of goods, the port is not meant for only NPA or Customs alone; it is for all stakeholders, we all must be accommodated”, he argued.