By Ajibola Abayomi,
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has lambasted the PTML, the biggest imported vehicle handling port in Nigeria.
The body alleged that the terminal operators were sabotaging the Federal Government’s Ease- of- Doing- Business initiative.
NAGAFF founder, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, stated this while speaking with Journalist in Lagos.
The NAGAFF founder alleged that PTML has completely refused to honour the order of the Federal Government regarding access into the port.
The PTML had insisted that before any port user can gain access into the terminal, he must have an access card, contrary to what obtains at other terminals in the country.
Aniebonam argued that authority for access into the port as spelt out in the ministerial order issued by the Finance Minister, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, and the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) rests with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
“Access into the port for a freight forwarder is based on the identity card issued by the CRFFN to its members and certified by the NPA as the custodian of the port, but PTML is not compliant.
“What PTML is doing is in total breech of the ministerial order. We are not in a Banana Republic. How can the federal government make an order and a private regulator is refusing that order,” Aniebonam queried?
He also alleged that terminal operators in the port were violating Section 31 of the Customs law which says that any cargo that comes into Nigerian ports has 28 days to stay. If the cargo is not cleared, an uncleared cargo list should be prepared by the terminal operator for Customs approval so that such containers would be moved out of the port to make room for other cargoes.
He recalled that the PTML matter was discussed during a meeting on the Ease- of- Doing- Business under the watch of the NPA MD, Hadiza Bala Usman and Customs CGC, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd).
“But as I speak,” he told the visiting journalists, “it is not being implemented and Nigerians are being ripped off in contravention of the law”.
It would be recalled that at a recent meeting between clearing agents and management of Grimaldi Shipping, owners of PTML Terminal, the company’s Deputy Managing Director, Mr. Nitin Senan, stated that most of the persons seeking access into the terminal do not have businesses to transact at the port. Most of them are ‘ghost agents’ who do not have clearing licenses, he stated.