NAGAFF Accuses APMT Of Breaching Contract Of Afreightment

The founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, has accused AP Moller Terminal (APMT) of transferring container out of the ports without the consent of the importer.

Aniebonam said this on Thursday in Apapa at the inauguration of the NAGAFF technical committee on performance re-evaluation of APMT.

He explained that transferring of cargoes out of the port without the consent of the importer or the owners is against the contract of afreightment.

The NAGAFF founder maintained that should any cargo be transferred without the consent of the owners, the terminal operator should be able to bear the consequences.

"APMT is transferring containers out of the mother ports to the outer terminals without the consent of the owner or importer and that is against the contract of afreightment"

"And so if you are transferring cargoes to the outer terminal, you need the consent of the owner and even if you didn't get the consent of the owner because of whatever you thought you perceived, then you should be able to bear the consequences"

"What are the consequences, the charges and any other encumbrances. So if APMT thinks that freight forwarder are the ones that are not taking out cargoes out of the ports as at when due, then I begin to think if they are conversant with section 31 of the Customs law which talks about the dwell time of cargoes"

Aniebonam nevertheless said that it is impossible for an importer to abandon a cargo at the port without any plans of clearing it.

"If you begin to look at the relevance of that section 31, it means that the government is aware that goods that come into the country and may not go out as at when due. Because the owner of the cargoes may not have money to pay for the duty when the cargo arrived. Let us also ask ourselves, is it possible for someone to import a cargo and abandon it at the ports?"

He frowned at the accusation by the new Country Manager of APMT, Mr. Klaus Laursen, who said that freight forwarders are the reason cargoes are not exiting the ports in Apapa, particularly APMT.

"The new manager just arrived, instead of settling down to study the situation of things, the port operating environment and what have you, he decided to make statements that are uncalled for" 

"That statement became uncalled for because they have not provided opportunity for fair hearing which is constitutional. You just come and you are saying that freight forwarders are the reason why cargoes are not leaving the ports"

He said that the association will not only re-evaluate APMT, but other terminals as well.

Meanwhile in his speech the national president of NAGAFF, Chief Increase Uche, said that APMT has remained one of the terminals that has not achieved the purpose for which the government carried out the concession of the ports.