Freight forwarders on Thursday shut down the Apapa seaport over terminal operators' refusal to comply with the Nigerian Ports Authority’s demurrage waivers directive on goods stored during the lockdown.
Following the extension of the COVID-19 lockdown, the NPA had directed terminal operators to grant a demurrage waiver from March 23rd to April 26 to owners of goods to ameliorate the effect of the pandemic.
However, some of the terminal operators flaunted the order adding that the waiver agreement lacked proper documentation from the Federal Government and the operators.
Due to the refusal of the terminal operators to comply with orders, the freight forwarders in a meeting on Thursday with the Apapa Port Manager, Funmilayo Olotu, ordered all their members from taking delivery of cargoes.
The National Coordinator, Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders, Dr Osita Chukwu said, “We have stopped all terminal delivery orders. The terminal operators had complied before but they reversed the waivers, saying that they were going to debit us for all the waivers they had granted.
“They explained that their foreign head offices had queried the waivers.”
The Chairman, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, Apapa Chapter, Chief Dom Onyeka, said freight forwarders had stopped writing the TDOs to take their containers.
Onyeka added that the Port Manager, has promised to call a meeting of all the agents, shipping companies and terminal operators on Monday to delegate on how to end the conflict.