Owing to the various bottlenecks inhibiting the free flow of traffic and cargo evacuation at the Tin Can Island Ports, clearing agents operating under the umbrella of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) have threatened to embark on a strike.
To facilitate this, more than 100 customs licensed agents have appended their signatures in a list of companies and individuals to withdraw services from the port.
Even though the date to commence the strike has not been announced, the association reached the decision on Wednesday after a stakeholders' meeting which held at the ANLCA Tin Can Island Chapter and presided over by the Chapter Chairman, Prince Segun Oduntan.
The agents lament that in the last one month it takes more than two weeks to exit cargoes from the Tin Can Island Port.
He stated that some of the causes of the delay include stripping of containers on the port access roads, noting that personnel of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Police oversee this practice at night.
The group also lamented that barge operation is a factor compounding the port access traffic gridlock as some terminals have been receiving trucks laden with containers and eventually pushing out the trucks to the roads after collecting the containers.
Speaking on Wednesday, the chairman of the ANLCA, Prince Olusegun Oduntan specifically accused MSC shipping company for turning the county to a dumping ground for empty containers
According to him; "MSC and other shipping companies have turned Nigeria into a dumping ground for empty containers. We haven't implemented the provision of empty containers holding bays. Nigerian Shippers' Council (NSC) came up with the novel idea to introduce insurance and remove container deposits, how long will it take to implement this? Who is regulating these shipping companies and terminal operators?
"As you have seen here everyone has opted for the option of strike and my people's opinion is what I stand by. We are going to have wider consultations before the strike kicks off." Oduntan said.