The management of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has appealled for calm among freight forwarders currently agitating over the controversial and contentious Port Access/Identity Card policy of the authorities at the Ports and Terminals Multi-purpose Ltd (PTML).
In a press statement sent to Platform Reporters on Monday and signed by Rev Emmanuel Agubanze, NAGAFF Head of Special Duties, the association stated that the call for calm has become imperative to avert the likely consequences of any form of protest or demonstration as disgruntled elements could hijack the genuine struggle of the agitating freight forwarders to wreak havoc.
According to NAGAFF, “We wish to inform freight forwarders and other stakeholders affected by this PTML Port Access/Identity Card policy that genuine efforts involving all parties are ongoing towards resolving the contentious issues to the benefit of freight forwarders and in the interest of our dear country Nigeria. NAGAFF is already in talks with the Federal Ministry of Transport and some agencies of Government like the Nigerian Shippers Council, NPA as well as other relevant agencies towards bringing this illegality to an end”.
“We are also holding talks with our legal team as to establish the culpability of the affected company with a view to recouping all monies illegally collected from our members in the name of procuring the so-called Port Access/Identity Card.
NAGAFF officials with the MD of NPA
“We wish to put it on record that we are in touch with the management of PTML towards finding a common ground over the lingering issues. The Founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Okechukwu Aniebonam and the Managing Director of PTML Mr. Ascanio Russo are in serious discussion over this matter and both leaders are determined to take advantage of this window of negotiations to lay the matter to rest. As a matter of fact Dr. Aniebonam has also been making personal contact with major stakeholders in the industry towards putting the matter behind us.
“We therefore appeal to the authorities of PTML to work in line with the terms of the concessioning agreement and in obedience to the laws of Nigeria. We wish to reiterate that no progress can be made in an atmosphere of impunity and chaos.
“NAGAFF is hereby calling on our members to avoid any act capable of inciting violence as we believe in fighting our battles in the boardroom of cerebral display of knowledge, instead of going physical which has no place in modern day trade dispute negotiations. We are confident that this matter will soon be resolved amicably”.